Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce stressed that the prospect of Joe Willock returning to the club firmly lies in the hands of Arsenal, in an interview with Sky Sports after a pre-season friendly.
After overcoming Doncaster Rovers in an encounter that ended 3-2, Bruce insisted that the reporter should ‘ask’ Arsenal as the ball is in the Gunners’ court when it comes to Willock.
The 21-year-old was the spark that lifted the Magpies away from the relegation zone as he starred in a loan spell in the second-half of last season.
Willock scored eight Premier League goals for the Toon outfit in just 14 top-flight appearances, the midfielder was red-hot in the final stages of the campaign, scoring seven in seven in blistering form that left the talent to win the division’s Player of the Month award for May.
Sky Sports note that Newcastle have approached Arsenal over the availability of Willock, with Steve Bruce’s side hoping that a new contract for Emile Smith Rowe accelerates their swoop for Willock.
? “You have to ask Arsenal, it’s their decision and it’s the player’s decision, of course we want him”
Newcastle boss Steve Bruce says he would love to welcome Joe Willock back to the club after his loan spell last season, but his future is up to Arsenal. pic.twitter.com/6rJJ4KE5mM
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) July 24, 2021
“You’re going to have to ask Arsenal.”
“It’s their decision of course and Joe’s decision. Of course we’d love to welcome him back, he did great for us, he gives us a dimension from midfield which we haven’t got.”
“So, we’ll keep bashing away at it.”
With Arsenal signing Albert Sambi Lokonga this summer, albeit the Belgian being more of a defensive midfielder, Willock could find it just as difficult to win a spot in the Arsenal lineup as he did last season.
It would be a real shame to see the momentum built by Willock go to waste if he’s left to play a fringe role for the Gunners this season, especially when a return to Newcastle seems like a great chance to kick on even further.