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Opinion

Only these 5 obstacles to overcome before Newcastle United can sign Joe Willock

4 weeks ago
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Joe Willock made quite an impression at St James Park.

Fair to say that Newcastle United fans were a little underwhelmed when he signed late in the January transfer window (indeed, so late it was February!).

However, by the end of his stay of less than four months on Tyneside, it was a record breaking Joe Willock they were looking at and admiring.

Joe Willock becoming the youngest player to score in six consecutive Premier League matches, then the youngest to score in seven.

As for Newcastle United, the Arsenal loan star matched Alan Shearer’s Premier League NUFC record of scoring in seven games in a row (altogether, Joe Willock scored eight PL goals in 980 minutes, starting 11 games and a sub in three others).

The big question now, is whether there is any chance of us seeing Joe Willock get the opportunity to make it eight PL scoring games in a row for Newcastle United?

There is, with ‘only’ these five obstacles to be overcome…

Arsenal willing to sell?

I don’t see this as a particularly big obstacle at all.

Arsenal were always going to make the right noises about giving him his chance at the Emrates after Willock had done so well in this loan spell.

However, the reality is that Arsenal have their own existing midfield targets and have excellent ones already, such as Emile Smith Rowe. The Gunners can’t / won’t offer Joe Willock regular football and they need to generate funds to help buy their targets. Considering Willock had only scored one goal in 40 Premier League appearances (12 starting and 28 as sub) for Arsenal, I think Arsenal will gamble that the loan player’s rush of goals for Newcastle is something that he will never come close to repeating.

Joe Willock seeing Newcastle United as an attractive club to sign for?

This is a far trickier one.

Ironically, Mike Ashley allowing a realistic offer to go in for Joe Willock, would be at least a positive sign and help make NUFC more attractive to other potential signings.

Ashley would I think need to convince Joe Willock that as well as ensuring ASM, Dubravka and Wilson would be staying, that he (Ashley) would also be going after other quality signings.

Joe Willock seeing Newcastle United as a more attractive club to sign for, than any interested rival clubs?

Possibly the trickiest of all.

Midfielders who can score goals are priceless and with Joe Willock still only 21, he may have only this limited burst of goals so far BUT he has his whole career in front of him.

It is difficult to name a Premier League that is less ambitious than Newcastle have been under Mike Ashley, so if Arsenal are willing to sell, Ashley having to convince Joe Willock that NUFC is a more attractive destination than the likes of Everton, Leeds, Villa, Leicester, Wolves etc who would likely be the kind of clubs interested as well.

Mike Ashley willing to allow NUFC to pay the transfer fee?

Hmmm. Do you believe?

Two main stories doing the rounds in the media.

On the one hand Mike Ashley allowing a £50m transfer budget, whilst on the other hand somewhere between zero and £10m / £12m or so.

If you believe £50m, then £25m-£30m could be used for a realistic Joe Willock offer. If thinking more like £10m, then any offer would be just embarrassing.

I’m guessing the overwhelming majority of Newcastle fans are thinking along the lines of £10m…

Mike Ashley willing to allow NUFC to pay the wages?

If Mike Ashley was willing to allow a £30m or so bid for Joe Willock to be made, then I think you are then having to commit to also making him your best paid player as well, if you are to convince him on the wages front.

I suppose looking at this in a positive way, if Mike Ashley was willing to allow a realistic bid to be made, then that would also lead me to believe a realistic offer of wages could / would also be made.

I hold my hands up and admit my expectations for this transfer window are pretty bleak, especially when it comes to signing Joe Willock.

However, if by some miracle the will was there from Newcastle United, just maybe Joe Willock could be convinced to give NUFC another try after he found it to his liking on the goals front…

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