'Massive bonus' - Paul Merson delivers verdict on Newcastle pursuit of Joe Willock

Paul Merson has argued that signing Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock on loan would be “great for Newcastle United”.

Monday, 1st February 2021, 2:39 pm
Joe Willock of Arsenal. (Photo by Peter Cziborra - Pool/Getty Images)

The Magpies are understood to be on the hunt for reinforcements in the centre of the park, with the 21-year-old emerging as a potential target in the final hours of the January transfer window.

Talks are underway over a possible deal that would see Willock make a move to the north east on a temporary basis, and Merson is of the opinion that it could be an agreement that benefits all parties involved.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, when asked if the transfer would be a smart move, the former Arsenal man said: “Yeah, I think so.

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"These kids – and I call them kids cause they haven’t got 300, 400 games under their belt – they need to go out and play.

"If you can get a loan if you’re playing in the Premier League, that’s a massive bonus.

"I think that works both ways. I think if he went to Newcastle it’s good for him, and I think it’s great for Newcastle as well.”

Despite only being 21, Willock has amassed 78 senior appearances across all competitions for Arsenal since making his debut in 2017.

The midfielder has struggled for Premier League minutes this term, however, and has been limited to just seven top flight outings, five of which have come from the bench.

The England youth international was actually handed his top flight debut against Newcastle by ex-Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, featuring in a 2-1 Toon victory back in April 2018.