Joe Willock ‘wants to play huge role’ with Newcastle as Arsenal say his future is his decision

Joe Willock has reportedly indicated to Arsenal that he wants to return to Newcastle United this season.

The midfielder played a starring role for the Magpies last season after signing on loan in the January transfer window.

He scored eight goals in just 14 appearances during his spell at the club, helping to steer Steve Bruce’s side away from the danger of relegation.

His seven goals in seven consecutive Premier League appearances matched a club record set by Alan Shearer in 1996.

Since returning to the Emirates Stadium, rumours have swirled over where Willock’s long-term future lies.

When asked about his future at the end of last season, he replied: “To be honest with you, I haven’t thought about it.

“I’m just trying to focus on what I need to do for the rest of the season.

“When the time comes I’m going to have the conversation with my father, my agent and see what happens.”

And Bruce also spoke of his hopes of bringing Willock back to Tyneside.

“Joe’s done too well,” he joked.

It’s a double-edged sword because of him probably doing too well but let’s see what happens. We’ll see over the summer if we can test their resolve.”

Is Willock likely to return to Newcastle?

90min report that Arsenal have told the midfielder he is free to choose where he goes next, with a loan move looking likely.

The same source adds that manager Mikel Arteta is willing to give Willock a role to play, but regular playing time is not guaranteed.

The Telegraph report that Newcastle “believe they are close” to agreeing another temporary deal for the player.

The club have also been linked with Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher, who impressed at West Bromwich Albion on loan last season despite their relegation from the top flight.

Newcastle are yet to make a permanent signing for the senior team ahead of what will be their fifth consecutive season in the Premier League.

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