23 y/o midfielder admits he was hesitant to leave Arsenal CaughtOffside

23 y/o midfielder admits he was hesitant to leave Arsenal CaughtOffside


Newcastle United midfielder Joe Willock has admitted he was hesitant to leave Arsenal on a permanent deal at the time.

Willock joined the Magpies in January 2021 on a half-season loan. During that spell, he scored eight league goals in 14 appearances.

That following summer, Newcastle would sign the midfielder for £25 million. The manager at the time Steve Bruce was very eager to get him back.

The 23-year-old struggled initially after the move, but when Eddie Howe came in he was able to help turn his fortunes around.

He’s been a strong performer in a Newcastle side that has had an exceptional season. He’s delivered nine goal contributions in 33 Premier League games during the 2022/23 campaign thus far.

Speaking with The Telegraph, the Englishman reflected on his move to Tyneside and was uncertain about the decision at the time.

He stated, “I remember that summer going back to Arsenal and I didn’t know what to do.

“I’d enjoyed the loan but to make it permanent was a big call. I wasn’t sure I wanted to leave Arsenal. I probably thought I was going to go back and things would be the same. I’d be working to break into the first team again and everything would be familiar and comfortable.

“When the talk of a permanent move started I wasn’t sure, you know. The fans probably made that decision easier but also Steve Bruce. He really fought to bring me here, he was great for me.

“We had loads of conversations on the phone that summer. I wasn’t valued at Arsenal, that became clear. When I had a meeting with them, it was obvious they wanted me to go. Yeah, it hurt.

“I would probably have drifted for another year had I stayed. I’d been there since I was four-and-a-half years old. I’d given my life to Arsenal.”

Those doubts will have now been removed from his mind, but it’s interesting to hear what his perspective was at the time.

The move has really benefitted both parties, Arsenal are having a fantastic season and Willock is performing well in a team that’s pushing for the Champions League next season.



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