Jetro Willems has told Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad – as quoted by FC Update – that Liverpool star and former PSV teammate Gini Wijnaldum convinced the left-back to join Newcastle United in the summer.
Willems, 25, joined Newcastle on a season-long loan from Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt in the summer. After a difficult start, which included a mistake on the opening day of the season against Arsenal, Willems has since shone for The Toon.
The left-back has clocked up 10 appearances for Newcastle this season. He has helped Steve Bruce’s side pick up three wins in their last five league games, laying on three assists and even scoring against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool at Anfield.
Willems spoke of why he chose to join Newcastle in the summer, and the Netherlands international claimed Liverpool and former Toon ace Wijnaldum urged the defender to move to Tyneside – who praised the fans when asked by Willems.
“I spoke to Gini and he told me about Newcastle. He said, ‘Believe me, Jetro. Go to Newcastle. A good city, warm people. A great atmosphere. Just do your thing and it’ll be fine’. I trusted [him],” Willems said.
TBR’s view – Newcastle have got to sign Willems on a permanent basis
Newcastle have struggled in the left-back slot for many years, even in the Championship. Paul Dummett is a good left-back, but he is not Premier League standard and has struggled with multiple hamstring problems.
Antonio Barreca, Achraf Lazaar and Kenedy have all failed to solve the left-back issue. But Willems has done so, finally making it easy for a Newcastle manager to pick a left-sided defender. He has to be signed permanently.