“There must come a time when we know – will it be yes or no?” Newcastle boss Steve Bruce urges Arsenal to respond to Joe Willock’s plight after friendly win over Doncaster
- Steve Bruce wants Arsenal to give Newcastle a firm answer about Joe Willock
- Bruce said Willock ‘gives us an extra dimension in midfield that we don’t have’
- Willock made a huge impression on a rental basis at Newcastle last season with eight goals
Newcastle United coach Steve Bruce has urged Arsenal to give his side an answer as to whether they can count on Joe Willock for the upcoming campaign.
Willock scored a staggering eight goals in 14 Premier League appearances after being loaned to Newcastle in February and was instrumental in sending them out of the relegation zone, finishing 12th.
Willock, 21, has returned to Arsenal in preparation for the season and appeared in the 2-2 draw with Rangers last week, but Newcastle would be keen to have him back, whether on loan or on a permanent deal.
Steve Bruce has demanded an answer from Arsenal about midfielder Joe Willock’s future
Willock scored eight Premier League goals for Newcastle to avoid relegation
“Of course we want him back, he did a great job with us and gives us another dimension in midfield that we don’t have,” Bruce said after his side defeated Doncaster Rovers 3-2 in a friendly on Friday.
“We’ll just keep hammering away at it.”
Newcastle’s hopes of a deal for Willock have been fueled by Arsenal, Anderlecht’s Belgian midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga and Emile Smith Rowe, who are signing a long-term contract.
But Bruce wants a straight answer.
‘What are they going to do with Arsenal?’ he added.
“They have brought in two midfielders. That’s our starting point, with Joe, because let’s face it, he had an incredible three or four months with us. But there has to be a time when we know: will it be yes or no?
Willock has returned to Arsenal for pre-season, playing against Rangers last week against
“We are only allowed two domestic loans, and we are only allowed one from each club. So there’s got to come a time when there’s a shutdown, and we’ve got to find out what’s happening. We are still doing our very best, whether on loan or to buy it. We’re still trying.’
Bruce admitted he has little money to work with in the transfer window, but hoped supporters would show patience with the club if they want to add players to their roster.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has signed Albert Sambi Lokonga and tied Emile Smith-Rowe
“I think everyone knows how difficult it will be,” he added. ‘We don’t have much money. As managers you always want players and money to improve the team, that’s our job. But I don’t think I’m alone, I’ve never known it so quiet.
‘We need to be patient. It’s very difficult, but with not a lot of money lying around, supporters know it’s going to be very difficult.”
Ryan Fraser, Sean Longstaff and Callum Wilson all found the target in victory at Keepmoat stadium as around 3,000 Newcastle supporters cheered the team on a first outing for fans since the coronavirus pandemic struck in March 2020.