Joe Willock will be hoping to score his first goal of the season against Leeds United and Marcelo Bielsa in Friday night’s game at St James’ Park.
He scored eight goals from 14 Premier League appearances for the Magpies, convincing Mike Ashley to somehow part ways with £25m (Sky Sports) to secure the midfielder’s signature.
But the 22-year-old is yet to score or register an assist since joining the club permanently.
However, Willock will have added motivation to prove one doubter in particular wrong on Friday night.
Bielsa baulked at Joe Willock price
According to the Athletic, Leeds boss Bielsa seemingly felt that Newcastle paid too much for Willock by splashing out £25million for him.
The Argentine wasn’t interested in paying that high fee and walked away from any potential deal.
It would have been interesting to see who Willock would have chosen to join if it was a direct choice between Newcastle and Leeds.
But Willock’s focus will hopefully be on proving Bielsa wrong and helping Newcastle pick up their first win of the season. If we do win, we’ll jump above Leeds in the Premier League table.
Willock and co will get chances
Instead of leading the tackling charts for Steve Bruce’s side, fans will be hoping that Willock can fire their team to victory and rekindle the form from last year.
If Willock can link up to good effect with Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin then they could hurt a depleted Leeds backline who will be without the suspended Pascal Struijk.
There will be space to run in behind Leeds’ defence and if Willock times his darts from deep to perfection then he could prove to be a headache for Bielsa.
The St James’ Park faithful love and adore the former Arsenal midfielder, and they expect more from him.
But playing against a manager who has doubted his transfer value could prove to be the trigger that ignites Willock’s season.