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Newcastle United transfer news: Steve Bruce determined to re-sign Joe Willock

Joe Willock Arsenal
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce has admitted that he still wants to re-sign Joe Willock, following the Arsenal midfielder's superb loan stint at the back end of last season.

Willock notched eight goals in 14 appearances for the Magpies, helping them steer well clear of relegation trouble and to an ultimate 12th placed finish.

The 21-year-old became the youngest player ever to score in seven straight Premier League games - the final seven of the season - a streak which included winners against West Ham and Sheffield United, as well as a late equaliser against Tottenham.

It's little wonder that Bruce is so keen to bring Willock back to St. James' Park, as Newcastle look to break into the top half of the top flight for the first time 2017/18.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, the 60-year-old said: "Of course we want [Willock] back; he did great with us and gives us another dimension in midfield that we haven't got.

"We'll keep bashing away with it."

But could Willock's loan exploits have propelled him into contention to feature more significantly in Mikel Arteta's plans at Arsenal? Well, Arteta did state earlier this month that Willock was "definitely part of our plans".

The flip side of that is the stiff competition Willock will surely face for a regular spot in the Gunners starting 11. 

With Emile Smith Rowe this week signing a new, long-term deal and looking set to come to the fore in 2021/22, and Martin Odegaard being linked with a return to the Emirates, the Arsenal academy product isn't likely to tie down an advanced midfield role.

Could he play deeper? Possibly - he was deployed there by Arteta in some Europa League matches last season - but Thomas Partey and potential new signings - Brighton's Yves Bissouma is a name that doesn't seem to go away - he may end up with an equally big fight on his hands there too.

Still, given that he's only 21 and still has two years left on his current deal, there's not necessarily any need to make a big, final on his future decision now - and perhaps another loan could be on the cards for the time being.

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