Arsenal academy graduate and Newcastle midfielder Hayden backs Willock to thrive

Arsenal academy graduate and current Newcastle midfielder Isaac Hayden has backed Joe Willock to thrive during his loan spell with the Magpies, according to Chronicle Live.

The England Under-21 international joined Steve Bruce’s side on loan for the rest of the season on deadline day. He is expected to add energy, drive and goals for the Magpies.

Newcastle have been very reliant on Callum Wilson for goals this season and the midfield has been devoid of goalscorers. The likes of Jonjo Shelvey and the Longstaff brothers have not chipped in with many goals and this has caused Bruce’s side to struggle.

Willock has scored three goals and provided three assists in 18 appearances across all competitions for Arsenal this season. He has starred for the Gunners in the Europa League and has an eye for goal. The hope is that he will be able to drive Newcastle forward, make intelligent runs into the box in the second half of this campaign and find the back of the net for them.

Hayden believes that Willock’s education at Arsenal will stand him in good stead and allow him to flourish at Newcastle. He has urged the player to step out of his comfort zone and prove that he is ready to play first team football for the Gunners. 

On Willock, Hayden told NUFC TV:

“He is going to add energy and drive to midfield and he is something different to what we have already got in the squad.”

“He can move with the ball well from a deeper position and he has got an eye for a goal as well so that will certainly be a good addition for us.”

“He has had a great grounding at Arsenal. When you come through the top academies they raise your game in a certain way and bring certain characteristics and qualities that you might not get without those experiences.”

“I think he has played 70-odd games for Arsenal’s first team and you don’t play that many times for Arsenal unless you are a decent player.”

“Unfortunately I didn’t get to play for them anywhere near the amount of time as that but the experiences I had helped me a lot at that age so for him to have more experience at that age stands him in great stead.”

“It is up to him now to step out of his comfort zone and to prove why he wants to play for Arsenal in the future.”

“When you go out on loan you are there to prove yourself to your parent club and if he does well here he might get more opportunities at Arsenal.”

“If he doesn’t then at least he has proven he can play to a good Premier League level and that will stand him in good stead for the rest of his career.”

“If we are being critical, we definitely have scored enough from midfield this season.”

“We have been heavily reliant on Callum [Wilson] for goals but that is something we are looking to change with the new formation and getting midfielders further forward.”

“It’s not my remit but if I can help the team in that regard, then fantastic.”

“But in the role of a box-to-box midfielder then creating chances, scoring goals, late arrivals into the box will be something he will be looking to add to the team as it is certainly something we haven’t had this season.”

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