Where does Joe Willock fit into the Newcastle United side?
Photo credit:(Getty Images/Serena Taylor)

January's transfer deadline day saw Newcastle United complete the loan signing of England Under-21 international Joe Willock who joined from Arsenal until the end of the 2020/21 season.

Willock is Arsenal through and through having been with the Gunners since the age of four with his Premier League debut actually coming against the Magpies as they secured a rare win over the north London outfit in April 2018 at St James' Park.

Since Mikel Arteta's arrival at the Emirates Stadium he has put a lot of emphasis on bringing youth players in to the first team on a regular basis and Willock has made 17 appearances for the Spaniard this season already, mostly in the Europa League and the domestic cup competitions.

Even before Arteta took over as manager, he was occasionally used by Unai Emery before he was sacked in November 2019, and he ended up making 44 appearances in total throughout the 2019/20 campaign, including in the Emirates FA Cup final at Wembley as Arsenal lifted the trophy.

The midfielder also has an eye for goal, bagging 11 goals for the Gunners during his time as a senior player.

It looks as if Willock can be a valuable player to the Magpies during his loan spell, but how does he fit into Steve Bruce's side and what will he bring to the team?

Where will Willock play?

Joe Willock has the potential to go a long way in the game, and still being just 21, time is certainly on his side. This loan switch to Newcastle is likely to be just as beneficial to the player as it is to the club.

Willock is an exciting player who is attack-minded so there is certainly plenty that he can offer to this Newcastle United team, and he should give them a new dimension.

In the last two matches Steve Bruce has played with a midfield diamond, a system which was highly effective in Saturday's 2-0 win over Everton at Goodison Park.

If Bruce were to bring Willock into the side playing with that formation, it would suit the young midfielder as he would have license to bring the ball forwards in what is system that allows players to roam. This is something that Miguel Almiron has done since this change of shape and it has brought the best out of him.

This formation would also suit Willock's box-to-box style of play and this is the type of player that Newcastle need so he simply has to come into the side. 

Willock's introduction would still also leave room for Isaac Hayden and Jonjo Shelvey to sit that little bit deeper to protect the defence, particularly applicable to Hayden. This shows that Willock can be crucial to the way Newcastle play. 

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What does Willock offer?

Joe Willock is the type of player that Newcastle have been crying out for - a jack of all trades in midfield.

Willock isn't afraid to get stuck into tackles, something Newcastle fans witnessed first hand at the start of 2019/20 season where he put in an excellent tackle on now midfield partner Jonjo Shelvey. At the time it sent some Toon fans crazy, but it was good tackle in fairness.

Whilst also offering that willingness to get stuck in, Willock will also get involved at the other end and he is a midfielder with an eye for goal. He will also create chances, something which striker Callum Wilson will no doubt be relishing, especially if he's in the mood he was in at Goodison Park last weekend.

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