Joe Willock: Steve Bruce hopes Newcastle can ‘test Arsenal resolve’ after record-breaking scoring run

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<p>Steve Bruce wants Arsenal loanee Joe Willock to stay at Newcastle this summer</p> (Getty Images)

Steve Bruce wants Arsenal loanee Joe Willock to stay at Newcastle this summer

(Getty Images)

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce remains determined to “test Arsenal’s resolve” over Joe Willock this summer after the in-form loanee continued his remarkable scoring run on the final day of the season.

Willock notched the opener for the Magpies as they completed the 2020/21 campaign with a 2-0 win at relegated Fulham that sealed a 12th-place finish in the Premier League.

It was the seventh game in a row that the 21-year-old midfielder has found the net, having also scored against Sheffield United, Manchester City, Leicester, Liverpool, West Ham and Tottenham over recent weeks.

Willock is the youngest player ever to achieve such a feat in the Premier League - surpassing Romelu Lukaku - and only the second to do so for Newcastle, after the great Alan Shearer.

Bruce has made no secret of his wish to keep the player at St James’ Park following the end of his productive loan stint and hopes Newcastle are able to put together an offer this summer that Arsenal will have to consider.

Standard Sport reported this week that Newcastle are hoping to seal a permanent deal for Willock worth around £20million.

"Watching him play you can see a young player enjoying himself and enjoying the freedom that we've given to him, the licence to run forward," Bruce said after the win at Craven Cottage.

"He's given us something which we certainly didn't have before.

"He's a very very good player. So I've said now for three or four weeks, we'd love to bring him back.

"He's Arsenal's player of course but let's hope we can test their resolve."

Addressing Willock’s future earlier this week, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta insisted the Hale End academy graduate would remain a Gunners player next season.

“For sure because he’s got a contract and that’s going to be here. That’s for sure,” he said.

“I am really happy that things have gone so well because of the potential that he has. I think it was great for him to go away and have a different experience.

“He has grabbed that opportunity in a really positive and remarkable way and he will come back to us, we will have a conversation with him and plan the next years for him.

“And he got the responsibility and the test of going to Newcastle to help them get where they want to. I spoke with the coaching staff there and they are extremely happy because he was a key part of contributing to get the objectives that they had. That’s a real positive for him.”

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