Newcastle United transfer news LIVE: Lingard loan request, Carlos latest after ‘transfer request’

“I felt like crying”

For all the money Newcastle United’s new owners will be spending this month, it’s easy to forget that the Magpies already have a player on their books whom the previous regime ‘broke all the rules’ to sign.

It’s been a year since Joe Willock embarked on an unforgettable loan spell at St James’ Park, but the 22-year-old is yet to reach those heights since joining the club on a permanent basis. last summer.

Willock’s attitude is certainly not in question – the midfielder was keen to cheer and applaud his team-mates as they warmed up against Watford despite being left out of the starting line-up again on Saturday – but it was a testing period.

Newcastle United transfer news LIVE

In addition to having to deal with COVID, Willock has caught up at various times. Willock didn’t have a good pre-season at Arsenal and even took painkiller injections so he could play after suffering a toe injury earlier in the campaign.

A change of manager has also meant a change in role since Willock completed his £25m move from Arsenal.

While Steve Bruce tended to use Willock in a three-man midfield and gave the youngster the license to push forward, the summer signing was given greater responsibility off the ball in a deeper role by Eddie Howe.

Willock was tasked with pressuring the opposition and winning the ball back in a two-man partnership in the middle of the park and it’s a task he still adapts to.

Willock will no doubt benefit from becoming a more complete player and, at 22, may have learned more from this difficult spell than when scoring for fun.

It’s worth pointing out that just eight months ago Willock became the youngest player in Premier League history to score in seven consecutive games and his best friend Reiss Nelson is adamant that the loan spell proved what his former Arsenal team-mate is capable of.

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