Joe Willock, England and Euro 2020
It would be reasonably safe to suggest that unless you were an Arsenal fan in January 2021, you probably weren’t aware of the talents of Joe Willock.
Although he had impressed for Arsenal, particularly in cup competitions, he had struggled to secure a regular position in the team in the Premier League, largely reduced to the role of occasional substitute.
At 21 years of ages it was vital that Joe Willock ventured on loan to gain some vital experience, hence the loan move to Newcastle United, who were much in need of an injection of talent in the midfield.
Although fans of Newcastle were hopeful that Willock could provide a spark that would ignite a desperately flagging season, even the most optimistic of supporters could have possibly anticipated the impact he would have on the club’s season. Willock has scored seven goals in 13 appearances (10 starts and three as a sub), finding the back of the net every 127 minutes and becoming the youngest player in Premier League history to score in six consecutive league matches.
Joe Willock is now the name on every Newcastle fans lips with speculation continuing to mount about the possibility of the club securing his permanent transfer in the summer.
However, regardless of whether that deal happens or not, with Willock’s value to Arsenal rising following every impressive performance, the talented attacking midfielder could have a big summer in store for another reason.
With the delayed Euro 2020 set to take place this summer, and with UEFA agreeing to expand the size of the squads to 26 players, then Willock surely has to be a name at the forefront of England boss Gareth Southgate’s thinking as he continues his final deliberations before announcing his squad for the tournament.
Although still relatively inexperienced, and having not featured in the senior set up before, Joe Willock would seem like an ideal player to fill one of those extra slots that have been created and go to his first major international tournament.
He is undoubtedly one of the most in-form players in England, and while unlikely to get near Southgate’s first choice eleven given the depth of his talent at his disposal, Willock’s ability to impact the game from the substitute’s bench could be vitally important during an international tournament.
While understandably keen not to be pigeon holed as a supersub, what was particularly impressive about his three goal scoring burst from the bench for Newcastle, was how quickly he was able to impact the game after coming on.
Having a player who can get into the game so quickly could be absolutely vital for Southgate.
Given that Dele Alli has been linked with a recall to the squad after returning to the first team picture at Tottenham (without scoring any goals) then surely Joe Willock has to be worth an international call up?
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