“He’s probably done too well” Bruce admits Willock may have played himself out of a permanent move

Steve Bruce appears to have conceded defeat in his pursuit of a permanent transfer for Joe Willock.

The Newcastle manager has enjoyed coaching red-hot Willock since the start of this year when the Gunners’ midfielder joined his team on loan.

Willock has been in blistering scoring form and has six goals in his last six league games for the Magpies.

His goals are one reason why they have managed to end the season back in the Premier League after initially flirting with relegation.

Arsenal has kept an eye on their midfielder and other teams would have noticed his impact on Tyneside and that will make him a hot property in the next transfer window.

Bruce knows that and concedes in a recent interview that the midfielder has probably done too much and that would make it harder for them to sign him.

He, however, insisted that they will still try to get the deal done.

He said via Mail Sport: ‘To do it today for me at 21 years old and in a team that was toiling at the time a little bit, I’m delighted for him.

‘He’s a smashing, smashing lad and he’s really enjoyed it up here. He’s really enjoyed it and I think his father’s enjoyed it too.

‘It’s so refreshing to hear, when a lot of the problems we have – “Oh, we don’t want to go to the north east” – he’s absolutely loved it, so has his father and I’m delighted all round.

‘It’s been a double-edged sword because he’s probably done too well, but let’s see what happens. We’ll see over the summer whether we can test their resolve.’

Tags Joe Willock Steve Bruce


  1. We should easily get 40million for him. He’s English hes young and he’s also a goalscoring midfielder, it’s not easy to find one this days. Liverpool sold Brewster who didn’t even score 1 premier league goal for 27 million so we should be able to get 40 for wilock.

    1. So you think we should sell a young English player, that is a great talent for 40mil? Why not keep if he is worth that much?

      1. I read online that Arsenal have set a 20 million quid price tag, that would be typical Arsenal Reggie, sell their talented players for modest fees or give them away for nothing, while clubs like Liverpool get 25+ for reserve players lol

          1. He has practically cost us nothing, we would rather pay Willian 250k plus a week to perform like a clown, than nurture a blossoming talent like willock and where has it got us.

      2. @Raggie.
        We sold Iwobi for about £34 million.
        Should we have kept him then if he was worth that much?

    2. Joe Willock has broken records at Newcastle United as a 21 yo scoring 6 goals in 6 games. When did an Arsenal midfielder last score 6 goals in a full season, let alone 6 in 6 games? Willock has scored more goals this season than all Arsenal’s midfielders combined.
      If Willock was contracted to any other club but Arsenal, people on JA would be crying out for him to be signed at a transfer value of £40 million. Yet because he is on loan from Arsenal, it is considered he is not good enough and should be sold for £20 million.
      You have to shake your head at such thought processes.

      1. How do people come up with all these out of the blue price tags?
        So after a few months on loan Willock is now worth £40 million?
        Is there any serious club that can pay that for an okay player that seems to having a Purple patch recently?

        Would anyone be happy of the roles were reversed and it’s Arsenal thikinh about Willock at the moment?

        1. Goonster, people are talking about Buendia from promoted Norwich City for £40 million, as an example.

  2. The dilemma for Arteta is how to use Willock next season.He does not have the technical skills nor game intelligence to be a successful AM ,but could become a very effective b to b operator with his pace and surging runs into the box.To make this happen Arteta would need to switch from his favoured 4-2-3-1 set up to a 4-3-3 system but there is no reason why he cannot tweak the former to the latter during a match if we are struggling.If he is intent on buying a quality AM, to back back up ESR then he may decide to sell Willock to help fund that acquisition.It will be interesting to see how events unfold with young JW.

    1. Who says he doesn’t have the required technical skills? You? Who are you? Have you watched him play? Are you saying that Elneny and Xhaka have the required”technical skills” to play in an Arsenal first team? Have you watched them play?
      Bit of advice for you sir.
      If you do not know what you are talking about,, talk about something that you can back up with facts

      1. Fans🤣🤣🤣
        What more could you ask from boy, he was loaned out and he’s proved himself. He reminds me of an typical English player, strong desire

    2. Grandad, im sorry but scoring 6 games on the trot, helping Newcastle to turn their season around and getting rave reviews from Newcastle fans, the lad has technical skills and ability. I would suggest the manager that allowed him to go on loan instead of using him is the one without the technical ability.

    3. I’m glad to see that there are still some people on here that know a thing or 2 about football.. I agree with you 100% regarding Willock. The problem with 433 is that we dont have a proper “6”. In my eyes Partey is a b2b, not a defensive midfielder. Who do you think should be our “6”?

      1. Agree Reggie, I, having coached a number of sports, always believed it was up to the coach to get the most out of the players at their disposal. You adjust the formation, tactics and playing style to fit the players you have available to maximise team performance.
        I am obviously misguided, as I should be rigid and only select players to suit my system.

  3. For me Joe had opportunities that held back the progress of ESR. Maybe it was the formation but for me he didn’t get it done with his chances. The comparisons with Xhaka and Elneny are also not valid since they play different roles.

    1. So we should ignore his performance at New Castle simply because he may have “failed” in the past?
      Scoring six goals in six consecutive games, even against top teams is now not good enough for our mid table team??
      Give the lad a break.
      I agree with Arteta for once.
      The lad belongs to Arsenal and is not for sale.

  4. When I said Willock was lacking in technical skills, I was referring to his lack of ball control to retain possession in tight spaces which is a feature of a quality number 10 who can make telling passes to open up defences.Willock, who I like ,and would retain is a b to b midfielder who thrives on space to make his surging runs into the box.As to your comments Akan, having played the game at a semi professional level ,and having scouted thereafter for three seasons, I feel I can identify the strengths and weaknesses of a player without referring to stats which on many occasions can be misleading.With regard to Partey he is a natural b to b and the likes of Bissouma would be a good partner for him if Arteta continues to favour a 4-2-3-1 system.We have lacked a DM for years .Sakaria, the Swiss international is a player who could fit the bill in that position.

    1. Grandad, Arsenal haven’t had a top class DM since Gilberto Silva departed. This has been a major weakness in Arsenal sides for years and must be addressed, if Arsenal is to prosper. Bissouma and Sakaria are good calls.

  5. In a 433 if he wants to be a starter, Willock will be competing against whoever we bring in as a playmaker, Ødegaard, Buendia, Auoar or Grealish (dream signing and yes that’s where I’d play him, not on the wing).

    I think where he would make an impact for us is in Cup game (especially if we somehow still qualify for Europa) and also as a sub in the PL.

    Unless someone offers £30 million (which is big money in a covid hit market) I’d be more tempted to keep him.

    The one’s we need to cash in on are Nketiah and Maitland-Niles (especially if he doesn’t want to play RB / be utility man). Nelson potentially one who should go out on loan next season.

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