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'Lad's got real desire': Shearer says 22-year-old is Newcastle's second-best dribbler after Saint-Maximin

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Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer has named Joe Willock as one of the Premier League’s rising stars.

The 22-year-old initially joined the Magpies on loan from Arsenal in the second half of last season and become a real star. He scored eight goals for them, including seven in his final seven appearances last term, thus helping the club avoid relegation.

Ex-Newcastle boss Steve Bruce fought hard to make Willock’s loan move permanent last summer, and he was successful. The Toon forked out £25 million (Sky Sports) to sign him, and although he hasn’t quite found last season’s form, he has managed to catch Shearer’s eye.

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The Magpies icon named Willock in his rising stars list and even suggested that he’s the club’s second-best dribbler, only behind Allan Saint-Maximin.

Alan Shearer: Newcastle star Joe Willock has got real desire

Speaking on the Premier League’s official YouTube channel, Shearer said: “Newcastle’s Joe Willock is next on our list, who joined the Magpies permanently last summer after an excellent loan spell from Arsenal.

“He’s not quite found last season’s form, but he’s beginning to settle back in.

“Behind Allan Saint-Maximin, he is the most active dribbler at Newcastle, which tells me the lad’s got real desire to make things happen.

“After eight goals last term, expectations this year have been high in that department, but his finishing just hasn’t been clinical enough. As Newcastle’s outlook has improved, however, so has Willock’s.”

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Allan Saint-Maximin is arguably the best dribbler in the Premier League. When the Frenchman gets going, it’s almost impossible for opponents to stop him, which is why he’s one of the most dangerous players in the country.

Willock isn’t quite there yet, but he’s pretty good in his own right.

The former Arsenal man may not have the tricks and skills that Saint-Maximin possesses, but he is a tremendous ball carrier and his acceleration when he gets going makes him a difficult player to stop.

Willock ended last season in spectacular fashion and if he can do the same again this term, Newcastle will finish in a really good position in the league table.

Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images
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