Newcastle United midfielder Joe Willock has been praised by former Premier League winner Rio Ferdinand for his performance against West Ham.
The 22-year-old scored his first goal of the season in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against the Hammers.
After scoring seven goals in as many appearances to finish last season, the infamous Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce partnership decided to bring the former Arsenal man to St James’ Park on a permanent basis in a deal worth £25million (Sky Sports).
Following a difficult start to the season, the England under-21 international has rediscovered his best form under the stewardship of Eddie Howe.
Newcastle’s number 28 caught the attention of Ferdinand with his display against David Moyes’s side.
Speaking on the latest FIVE podcast, Ferdinand said: “Joe Willock who was important last season scoring goals at the end of the season and he’s now scored his first goal of the season.
“But he was immense in this game. First half, I thought he did really well, and he was a big reason why they [Newcastle] got back in the game.
“I thought it was a fair result across the board.”
The challenge for Willock now will be to kick on from ending his drought.
His confidence will once again be soaring and if he can chip in with further priceless goals, Howe’s side will possess an additional goalscoring threat from deep thanks to the box-to-box midfielder.
The former Manchester United and England centre-back also believes that the Toon Army, who are unbeaten in six Premier League matches, will stave off the threat of relegation.
Ferdinand added: “Newcastle will stay up. They’ve got too much in terms of character and desire – there is a work ethic behind it. A lot of work being done behind the scenes. They’re in good shape.”
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