Why Newcastle Suits Joe Willock
Despite being among those listed as available for moves elsewhere, Willock’s position in the team was perhaps slightly reinforced by the numbers. With five central midfielders on the books, losing the academy graduate might’ve constituted a risk on the club’s part given the injury concerns Thomas Partey has faced and the current absence of Dani Ceballos, although Calum Chambers can fill in if required.
However, the need for Willock to go out and play regularly remained. As seen in Europe, when given a run of fixtures he can produce the goods, the elephant in the room being can he maintain such levels against Premier League opposition.
As of yet, the answer is no. It didn’t work for him in the No. 10 role and he failed to take his chance in the No. 8 role when given the opportunity this season, but it is still too early to close the door fully on his chances. Due to that, joining a side where he will be granted regular minutes in his favoured position will provide a telling answer.
While Newcastle play an entirely different brand of football it’s nonetheless against top-flight opposition. Without players of Willock’s ilk, Steve Bruce will argue he’s been unable to release the offensive shackles, therefore the 21-year-old’s arrival could help instigate a different approach for the second half of the season.
With Callum Wilson’s great movement, Allan Saint-Maximin;s flair and as a No. 8 in the new diamond shape the Magpies are implementing, he could flourish.
Even if not, he’ll still play. Right now, that’s all that matters. Newcastle are a good fit for him at this moment in time, even just for that reason.