Arteta ends Magpies dream of signing record-breaker Willock

Speaking at his Friday press conference Arteta was asked about the loan midfielder, who has been in sensational form for the Magpies. The 21-year-old became the youngest player in Premier League history to score in six consecutive appearances as Newcastle defeated Sheffield United 1-0 at St James’ Park this week.

It prompted questions to Bruce about Willock’s future and after seven goals in 13 Premier League appearances, it was no wonder he said he would live Willock to stay.

Bruce said: “As I have said before, it’s a double-edged sword. We have to respect he’s Arsenal’s player.

“If we can, we’d love to bring him here. Let’s see what we can do because he’s exactly what we needed. Joe has still got a lot to learn but we have given him freedom and a licence to get forward. He is a young player enjoying his football.”

Arteta though has pretty much ended any hopes Newcastle had of taking Willock on loan again or by signing him permanently.

Asked whether Willock will return, Arteta said: “Yes, and I’m really happy that things have gone so well for him because of the potential that Joe has.

“I think it was great for him to go away and have a different experience. He has grabbed that opportunity in a really remarkable and positive way. He will be back with us, we will have those conversations with him and plan the next years for him.

“And he got the responsibility and the task to go to Newcastle to help them go where they want. I’m telling you that I spoke with the coaching staff and they are extremely happy because he was a key part in contributing to get the objectives that they had. So that’s a real positive for him.”

The Gunners boss was also probed about the future of Hector Bellerin.

Bellerin is under contract until 2023, but the 23-year-old continues to be linked with moves elsewhere.

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