Jetro Willems return to Newcastle United? Obstacles to overcome and some convincing needed
In January 2020 we saw Jetro Willems bid farewell to Newcastle United.
The loan signing having cruciate ligament surgery after picking up a bad injury.
However, Jetro Willems didn’t hold back in his intent for the future when making a personal statement to Newcastle fans: ‘It was fantastic to play for NUFC! I will come back stronger! I believe in the plan I made with God and the path we have chosen, I pledge to do everything I can, so it will not be my last game for NUFC!!!!’
In December (2020) it looked like that next game for Newcastle United might not be too far away.
The then Eintracht Frankfurt player’s agent Sigi Lens asked by hr-sport whether Jetro Willems could sign for Newcastle United in January 2021:
“Of course there is this possibility.
“Jetro got along very well in England [with Newcastle United] and is willing to go back there.
“They [Eintracht Frankfurt] want to extend the contract.
“Either we extend the contract [Eintracht Frankfurt] or he [Jetro Willems] leaves this winter.”
Then over in Holland, RTL Nieuws followed that up with a report on 11 December 2020 after Jetro Willems appeared on the ‘Andy Niet te Vermeijde’ programme, quoting Willems after he was asked about a potential return to Newcastle United in January 2021:
“A wonderful club.
“In terms of history, stadium…
“The Geordies – That accent is nice.
“I hope to be able to go [back] to England [and Newcastle United], that would suit me.
“The atmosphere in England is wonderful.”
As it happens, none of the above happened.
Jetro Willems didn’t return to Newcastle United, or indeed move to any other club, nor though did the player sign a new contract with Eintracht Frankfurt.
Then another layer to the tale, Jetro Willems hasn’t played a single competitive minute of football since a freak injury on Saturday 18 January, the left sided Newcastle loan player forced off during the 1-0 home victory over Chelsea.
The 23 January 2021 saw Jetro Willems named on the bench in the Bundesliga but that day and 12 other times since then, he wasn’t given a single minute of play off the bench.
We have noises from the continent (Germany / Holland) and the (in the main) not too reliable parts of the English media claiming he is on his way back to St James Park now he is a free agent…
However, there are some significant obstacles to overcome and some convincing needed.
With Brexit now ‘done’, players wanting to move from other European countries don’t automatically get the right to AND have to, just as players outside the EU previous had to do previously (and still do) meet certain criteria. Things like playing for your country and club naturally featuring highly.
It was 2016 when Jetro Willems last played for Holland and by the time we get to the Premier League kicking off again in August, it will be 19 months since his last first team football.
Indeed, by August it will be a case of only 31 league starts for Willems in the last 44 months, with 18 of those 31 when starting for Newcastle in last season’s loan spell.
At the end of 2017 the player was still only 23 and now he is going to be turning 28 this coming 2021/22 season, with so little football played and injuries affecting him.
Many Newcastle fans are blindly saying it is a no-brainer for NUFC to sign Jetro Willems but he will need to pass a stringent medical and then I would suggest, the very best Newcastle should offer is an initial one year deal, or some other arrangement such as relatively low wages and most of his money depending on pay as you play.
Whether that is something Willems would agree to, if it enabled him to return to Newcastle, is quite another thing. With naturally the player himself interested to see what other other clubs might offer.
He would be a popular signing with fans, plus a potential bargain deal for Mike Ashley IF returning to the form he showed in the opening half of last season with NUFC.
Jetro Willems via his Twitter account – 20 January 2020:
“While I’m typing this my eyes are full of tears.
“I pray before each game and I ask God to let everyone end the match healthy whether we win or lose.
“As you already may have heard, the game against Chelsea was my last game for this season.
“I had in all fronts and way, an incredible, beautiful, fun and especially a good half year and I want to thank everyone who were involved for that.
“It was fantastic to play for NUFC!
“I will come back stronger!
“I believe in the plan I made with God and the path we have chosen, I pledge to do everything I can, so it will not be my last game for NUFC!!!!
“Thanks for all the messages”
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