Joe Willock: Newcastle ‘badgering away’ to sign Arsenal midfielder on loan, says Steve Bruce

Newcastle are still “badgering away” in an attempt to re-sign Joe Willock on a season-long loan deal from Arsenal, manager Steve Bruce confirmed.

Willock was vital to Newcastle’s relegation escape last season, scoring eight goals in 14 appearances after joining the club in the January window.

Bruce has acknowledged that Newcastle do not have the necessary budget to acquire Willock on a permanent deal, but hopes Arsenal can be lured into allowing the 21-year-old midfielder to gain more experience.

“As I’ve said, it’s really Arsenal’s decision, and until Arsenal make a decision – a bit like all the big clubs, they have a look over pre-season – we’ll keep monitoring and badgering away,” Bruce said. “We’d love to do something but it’s still Arsenal’s call.”

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta last week insisted Willock is “part of our plans” but left the door open to another loan move as the head coach continues to reshape his midfield.


“He trained yesterday really well, but we didn’t want to risk him. Joe is part of our plans, he’s our player and in the time that he is here we will try to make the most out of him,” Arteta said.

“He had a good experience on loan. He was, I think, one of the most important players for Newcastle’s survival and we are happy to have him.”

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