Isaac Hayden backs Joe Willock to make goalscoring difference

Isaac Hayden backs Joe Willock to make goalscoring difference

Joe Willock will add energy, drive and an eye for goal in Newcastle United’s midfield.

That is the verdict of the Arsenal loanee’s new team-mate, Isaac Hayden, who has urged Willock to ‘step out of his comfort zone’ and ‘prove’ he is ready to play first team football for the Gunners.

Willock joined Newcastle on a loan deal until the end of the season on Monday after struggling for opportunities with the Gunners in the Premier League.

And having received the same grounding at Arsenal’s academy that he received, Hayden believes that will stand him in good stead on Tyneside.

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

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“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.

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“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.

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“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.”

Despite a lack of opportunity in the Premier League Willock has scored three goals and registered three assists in five appearances in the Europa League this term, and Hayden believes he can be the box-to-box, goalscoring midfielder Newcastle have lacked in recent seasons.

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

Steve Bruce and Mike Ashley

Recent fallout over the long-running takeover saga at Newcastle United hasn’t just been the talk of Tyneside – it was the talk of the footballing world.

Now, Steve Bruce must recollect his team and push forward without the change of ownership and new backing.

However, the twists and turns aren’t over, with current owner Mike Ashley ‘considering all options’ after the Premier League rejected the £300m takeover.

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“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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