Joe Willock urged to snub Newcastle United move as key Magpies figure earns surprise international call-up

The Premier League campaign came to end on Sunday but there’s still plenty of news concerning Newcastle United.

Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 4:30 pm
Joe Willock has been urged to fight for his place at Arsenal by Paul Merson. (Photo by MATTHEW CHILDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Steve Bruce’s side ended the term in positive fashion after a 2-0 win at relegated Fulham sealed a 12th placed finish.

But the focus is already turning to a busy summer and next season:

Paul Merson urges Joe Willock to stay at Arsenal

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Paul Merson has urged Joe Willock to fight for his place at Arsenal, despite strong interest from Newcastle United.

The 21-year-old bid goodbye to Magpies supporters on Monday via a heartfelt Instagram post after his successful loan spell came to an end.

Having scored eight goals in 14 appearances – including seven in seven – Bruce is desperate to sign Willock permanently and vowed to test the Gunners’ resolve.

Mikel Arteta has confirmed he sees Willock as a part of his plans next season – which Merson believes is the correct way forward for the midfielder.

He told Sky Sports: “If he comes back now, he’s got to be in the team. No disrespect to Newcastle, but Newcastle are not above Arsenal and we’ve got to be honest with that.

“I would come back and have a go. I would 100% come back and say, you know what, I want to give it a go at Arsenal, and if he isn't in the team in six months, your agent goes in, or he goes in and goes ‘you know what, I’m never gonna make it at Arsenal’.”

Willock nominated for the Player of the Month award

Joe Willock has been nominated for the EA Sports Premier League player of the month award for May following strikes against Leicester City, Manchester City, Sheffield United and Fulham.

Willock will go up against Tottenham’s Gareth Bale, Liverpool’s Alisson Becker and Sadio Mane, Crystal Palace’s Christian Benteke, Aaron Ramsdale of Sheffield United, Nicolas Pepe of Arsenal and Leeds United’s Rodrigo for the accolade.

Voting closes at 6pm on Wednesday and the winner will be announced at 11am on Friday.

Graeme Jones called up for England duty

Newcastle assistant coach Graeme Jones will join Gareth Southgate’s backroom staff for England’s Euro 2020 campaign.

Following the departure of striker coach Allan Russell, the Three Lions boss has acted swiftly to bring the highly-rated Jones in.

This time last year, Jones was out of work after leaving his managerial role at Luton Town before joining Bruce’s coaching team after a brief spell at Bournemouth.

Speaking about his decision, Southgate said: “We’re really pleased to be able to bring Graeme Jones in who is obviously working with Newcastle at the moment.

"I’ve known Graeme quite a while – he’s got fantastic experiences of tournament football of course with Belgium and Roberto Martinez.

"He’s got great experiences as an assistant manager and manager, so I’m really pleased that with Steve Holland and Graeme, Martyn Margetson – who has been to semi-finals with us and Wales – and with Chris Powell that we’ve got a really strong coaching team.”