Joe Willock

Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock has joined Newcastle on loan for the remainder of the season.

Willock, 21, has made 16 appearances across all competitions for Arsenal this season, including seven in the Premier League – his last start coming in a 2-1 home defeat against Wolves on November 29.

The emergence of Emile Smith Rowe has reduced Willock’s opportunities of regular game time under Mikel Arteta, while Arsenal also signed Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid on loan last month.

Willock has represented England at U16, U19, U20 and U21 levels and will provide competition in midfield at St James’ Park for Newcastle boss Steve Bruce.

“I’m delighted to bring Joe to Newcastle until the end of the season,” Bruce said.

“He is a very exciting and talented young player who can get up and down the pitch and can score a goal from midfield.

“He has made a very decent impact at Arsenal after coming through the ranks and to make nearly 80 appearances for the club by the age of 21 says much about his development, ability and character.

“He is very keen to come here and test himself and he’ll be a great addition to the squad.”

Willock signed a new long-term contract at Arsenal – a club he has been associated with since he was four years old – in September 2019.

The midfielder was one of several players to leave the Emirates on deadline day, with Shkodran Mustafi departing the club permanently for Schalke, and Ainsley Maitland-Niles joining West Brom on loan until the end of the season.

“Joe is a young player with great ability who is progressing very well and we are happy with his continued development,” Arteta said.

“At this moment in his career, Joe needs to be playing regularly. At Newcastle United, he is going to a very good club with a top quality manager and staff. We all wish Joe the very best at Newcastle until the end of the season.”

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