Joe Willock could save Newcastle United millions this summer
Resurgent Joe Willock could save Newcastle millions this summer
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Resurgent Joe Willock could save Newcastle millions this summer

After another electric performance for Newcastle United on Sunday, Joe Willock earned himself a new nickname from his midfield partner, Bruno Guimaraes. He also caught the eye of many fans and now there’s a fresh buzz around ‘Willockinho’.

One position that Eddie Howe is keen to strengthen is the Newcastle engine room. After he had to reluctantly let go of Jonjo Shelvey in January, he was unable to bring in a replacement. It was a move that quickly caught Newcastle out when the perfect storm of injuries, suspensions and a cup-tie left the midfield somewhat depleted for three key games.

While there’s no doubt that Newcastle need to add squad depth in that position, we have a man on the books already who could be seen as the future of the Newcastle midfield alongside star man, Bruno Guimaraes.

Joe Willock gets better every game

Joe Willock hit the ground running at Newcastle when he arrived on loan in the January window in 2021, going on a seven game scoring streak equaling the club record set by none other than Alan Shearer. His goals kept Newcastle in the league.

The summer saw Willock make his move from Arsenal permanent for a fee of £25million. The goals dried up and he didn’t seem like the same player we’d had the previous season. He’d been “Bruced”.

Photo by Richard Sellers/Getty Images

Enter Eddie Howe who has slowly but surely turned Willock from a goalscoring midfielder to another box-to-box animal that Rio Ferdinand called ‘immense‘. His pace is devastating, but he’s also becoming increasingly adept at keeping the ball, his dribbling skills are improving week by week and every time he lines up for the Magpies he looks increasingly dangerous.

If it wasn’t for Alexander Isak‘s blinding goal scoring display on Sunday then Willock would have scooped the Player of the Match award against Wolves.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek would be a backward step

So as Newcastle have looked at the likes of £22million Ruben Loftus-Cheek from Chelsea, I would say that Willock, who is still only 23 compared to Loftus-Cheek who is four years his senior, represents a much better bet for Newcastle.

Loftus-Cheek can’t break his way into the Chelsea team so his lack of game time is a concern right off the bat. Willock, for me, is already better than RLC, so imagine where he’ll be when he’s 27.

My thinking is, when we are looking at central midfielders this summer they either need to be younger than Willock so they can become as good, if not better than him. Otherwise we need older heads who are better than Willock is now, perhaps someone who can mentor Willock along the way to make him the most complete midfielder on Newcastle’s books.

The potential is definitely there and if he continues playing like he has been lately, it surely won’t be long before he gets that call from Gareth Southgate to join him in the England set up.