‘There has to be a time where we know – is it going to be yes or no?’ Newcastle boss Steve Bruce urges Arsenal to give answer on Joe Willock’s situation following friendly win at Doncaster
- Steve Bruce wants Arsenal to give Newcastle a firm answer over Joe Willock
- Bruce said Willock ‘ gives us an extra dimension in midfield that we haven’t got’
- Willock made a huge impact on loan at Newcastle last season with eight goals
Willock scored a stunning eight goals in 14 Premier League appearances after joining Newcastle on loan in February and was instrumental in steering them well clear of the relegation zone to finish 12th.
Willock, 21, has returned to Arsenal for the pre-season and appeared in last week’s 2-2 draw with Rangers but Newcastle would like to get him back, be it on loan or a permanent deal.
Steve Bruce has demanded an answer from Arsenal over the future of midfielder Joe Willock
Willock scored eight Premier League goals for Newcastle to help them avoid relegation
‘Of course we want him back, he did great with us and gives us another dimension in midfield that we haven’t got,’ Bruce said after his side beat Doncaster Rovers 3-2 in a friendly on Friday.
‘We’ll keep bashing away at it.’
Newcastle’s hopes of a deal for Willock have been boosted by Arsenal signing Belgian midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga from Anderlecht and Emile Smith Rowe signing a long-term deal.
But Bruce wants a firm answer.
‘With Arsenal, what are they going to do?’ he added.
‘They’ve brought in two midfield players. That’s our starting point, with Joe, because let’s be fair, he had an unbelievable three or four months with us. But there has to be a time where we know – is it going to be yes or no?
Willock has returned to Arsenal for pre-season and played against Rangers last week
‘We’re only allowed two domestic loans, and we’re only allowed one from each club. So, there has to come a time when there’s a cut-off, and we have to find out what’s happening. We’re still trying our utmost, whether it’s on loan or to buy him. 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 as they look to add players to their squad.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has signed Albert Sambi Lokonga and tied down Emile Smith-Rowe
‘I think everybody knows how difficult it’s going to be,’ he added. ‘We haven’t got a lot of money. As managers, you always want players and money to go and improve the team, that’s our job. But I don’t think I’m alone, I’ve never known it so quiet.
‘We have to be patient. It’s very difficult, but with not a lot of money swashing around, supporters know it’s going to be very difficult.’
Ryan Fraser, Sean Longstaff and Callum Wilson all found the target in the win at the Keepmoat stadium as around 3,000 Newcastle supporters roared on the team in a first away trip for fans since the coronavirus pandemic struck in March 2020.