As Newcastle United struggle to find balance in midfield, Joe Willock continues his recovery from injury.
The 24-year-old has not played for the Magpies all season, having suffered a hamstring injury at the backend of the previous campaign. That ruled him out of Newcastle‘s entire pre-season, and now the former Arsenal man has picked up another problem.
Eddie Howe is really disappointed about Joe Willock’s injury
Ahead of Newcastle’s game against Brentford, Howe spoke to the media where he addressed Willock’s fitness.
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“He’s been away – he’s been in Spain I believe the last week, a change of environment for him, a change of focus for him,” he said.
“He’s been pretty good. There’s obviously been a bit of disappointment there, because he’s had a couple of setbacks.
“This injury’s an achilles injury, the one he sustained originally was a hamstring injury, and the achilles came out of nowhere. Disappointment for him – and he’s such a key player for us, so disappointment for us. But our aim is just to get him back as quickly as possible and back to his best form.”
Newcastle need Willock back
Howe is clearly desperate to get Willock back as soon as possible, describing him as a ‘key player’.
He certainly was that last season, scoring crucial goals in wins over Chelsea and Manchester United. Willock was so good last season that he put himself in the conversation for an England callup, and an international debut should not be too far away when he returns from injury.
As for Newcastle, they really need Willock back. The midfield is not functioning as well as it did last year, despite the arrival of marquee name Sandro Tonali.
For Willock, the increased amount of competition should make him more determined to come back even better than before, and it will be a joy to see him in a black and white shirt again soon.
Not only that, but he deserves the chance to play for the club in the Champions League, having worked so hard to help Newcastle qualify.