Arsenal ‘agree £25m deal’ with Newcastle for Willock

Jason Soutar

Arsenal have agreed a deal with Newcastle United to sell Joe Willock for £25million, according to reports.

Willock enjoyed a tremendous spell on loan at the Magpies during the second half of the 2020/21 campaign, scoring eight goals in 14 Premier League appearances.

He has been linked with a permanent move ever since his loan at St James’ Park ended, with 90Min (via The Boot Room) claiming that they have finally agreed a deal to make it happen.

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The 21-year-old’s future has been uncertain all summer, with multiple sources reporting different stories regarding where he will end up for the 21/22 campaign.

Speaking in July, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said: “Joe is part of our plans, he’s our player and in the time that he is here we will try to make the most out of him. He had a great experience on loan. He was, I think one of the most important players for their survival.”

However, reports had suggested that the Gunners were ‘listening to offers’ for the midfielder whilst the Daily Mail have previously said that the north Londoners were likely to sell him to raise funds for their own spending.

Reports in France had claimed that AS Monaco were eyeing up a move for Willock, but links quickly died down between the Englishman and the French club.

Despite pre-season not being a lot to go by, Newcastle have looked lost at times without the youngster in their team.

Steve Bruce’s 3-5-2 system requires someone with Willock’s profile to play in the free role and drive the team forward in transition. Something that he thrived in doing last term.

The 21-year-old developed a great relationship with the Newcastle fans despite them not being allowed in stadiums due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He is allowed to play in his favoured role under Bruce and will be one of the first names on the teamsheet – so this move could be very beneficial for his career.

Appearances under Arteta this season would likely come in the domestic cup competitions and off the bench in the league for a weekly 20-minute cameo.

Newcastle’s transfer kitty is thought to be around £12m, however, they operate with a unique transfer strategy where they identify a target and attempt to sign them if Bruce and the board are happy to buy them.

This will likely be the case with Willock if he does make a permanent move to St James’.