In a recent interview (via The Shields Gazette), Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce confirmed that Joe Willock could miss the upcoming match against Leeds United due to a knock he picked up in the 4-1 defeat at the hands of Manchester United last weekend. Bruce said,
“Yes, we have a disappointed dressing room, one with a few knocks.
“Joe Willock, Ciaran Clark, in particular, and Manqy (Manquillo). We’ll have to see how to see how they are. Lets hope they’re OK.”
Willock’s Decent Run Of Form At St. James’ Park Last Season
Willock managed to impress the Magpies faithful while on loan at St. James’ Park last season as he caught the eye by putting in a run of solid performances at the heart of Steve Bruce’s midfield. The former Arsenal talent made 13 appearances for the Tyneside outfit in the previous campaign, scoring eight goals in the process across all competitions.
The London-born sensation gave a good account of himself by averaging 1.9 tackles, 1.2 interceptions, 0.7 clearances, 1.4 shots, 0.6 key passes and 1.6 dribbles per 90 minutes in the 2020-21 Premier League season. He even distributed the ball relatively well after completing 77.1% of his attempted passes in the English top tier (stats via whoscored).
Willock Could Miss Leeds United Clash: Big Blow For The Magpies?
Willock is a tough-tackling central midfielder who can time his challenges well to make some crucial interceptions for his team. He can even complete some encouraging dribbles with the ball in the opposition half and is not shy of having a strike at goal when afforded time and space by the opposition.
Therefore, a player of Willock’s skillset missing the Leeds United match will be a huge blow for Steve Bruce as his first-team is currently lacking quality in the midfield department. The English midfield ace could have played a big role for Newcastle in this game based on his decent run of form for them in the previous campaign.
Even though Willock is yet to find the back of the net this season, there is no denying that he had the potential to play an influential role for the Magpies in this league game versus the Whites on Friday night. Bruce will now have to find alternative solutions if he wants to cope with his current list of injuries at the Tyneside club.
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