However, Bruce acknowledged that he was unsure whether a permanent deal for would be possible.
Speaking to the press following Saturday’s 3-2 win over West Ham at St. James’ Park, in which Willock bagged an 82nd minute winner, Bruce said: “We would love to keep him here.
“He is the type of player you’d love to build your club around. Whether we can or not I’m not quite sure.”
Bruce went on to praise Willock’s all-round contribution from the bench. “Joe coming on and getting after them high up the pitch was vitally important,” he said.
Willock has now scored three goals in nine appearances for the Magpies, with the others coming in February’s 3-2 win over Southampton and the recent 2-2 draw with Tottenham – in which the 21-year-old equalised late on.
The England U21 international came through the Arsenal youth ranks and has made 78 senior appearances. Whether the Gunners are open to letting him leave permanently, though, remains to be seen.
Saturday’s victory means Newcastle are now eight points clear of the relegation zone with a game in hand over 18th-placed Fulham, who they face on the final day of the season.
Subscribe to FourFourTwo today and get your first five issues for just £5 for a limited time only - all the features, exclusive interviews, long reads and quizzes - for a cheaper price!
RICHARD JOLLY What's the worst European defeat for any English club?
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.