Steve Bruce has confessed that he is eager to keep Joe Willock at Newcastle United beyond his current loan spell from Arsenal.
Speaking after the Toon’s dramatic 3-2 win over West Ham where the on-loan Arsenal man provided the winning goal, Bruce admitted that Willock is a player he’d not only be open to signing in the future but to also build the club around.
Willock has been in great form for Newcastle since making the move up north in the January transfer window, with the Arsenal academy graduate hitting three goals in the Premier League for the Magpies, including a last-gasp equaliser against Tottenham earlier in the month.
The 21-year-old midfielder, who has often been compared to Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey, who is currently one of the top-earners with the Serie A squad with the Welsh international making £187,000-a-week according to Salary Sport, has been an influential signing for Newcastle, and Bruce was not shy on his ambitions to sign the youngster.
The Newcastle manager told The Chronicle Live: “We would love to keep him here. He’s the type of player you’d love to build your club around. Whether it’s possible, I am not so sure. But he’s had a big impact. To get a third goal is great for him.”
TBR View: Newcastle will have to put up the big bucks to lure Willock from Arsenal
Willock’s form has been crucial to Newcastle steering clear of the relegation zone in recent weeks, yet if the Toon were to sign the Arsenal man on a permanent deal, it will likely have to take some significant funds for the Gunners to be prized away from one of their top prospects.
Given his age, nationality and his current deal with the Gunners not expiring until the summer of 2023, Arsenal may need some financial incentive if they are to allow Willock to leave north London for good. But, with the Gunners looking likely to offload some players in the summer, the England U-21 international could be allowed to leave if Newcastle were to submit a suitable offer for the midfielder.