Noel Whelan has urged Newcastle United to push to sign Joe Willock from Arsenal on a permanent basis.
The former Leeds United striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the midfielder had shown everything to convince the Magpies of pursuing a summer deal.
A source at St James’ Park has told Football Insider Willock has expressed an interest in joining Newcastle permanently at the end of the season.
It is understood the midfielder has told teammates he is enjoying life on Tyneside and, more importantly, he is getting the game time he wants.
Willock has played nine times and scored three goals for the Magpies since joining on loan from Arsenal in January.
Alan Shearer called the midfielder “magnificent” after his goal-scoring debut against Southampton.
He featured 16 times for the Gunners during the first half of the season but most of those appearances came in the cup competitions.
As such, the London-born midfielder believes he is likely to get more Premier League action under his belt at Newcastle.
Whelan insisted not every player manages to settle in at their loan club as well as Willock has on Tyneside.
As such, he suggested the Arsenal loanee would be a very sensible signing for the Magpies.
Whelan told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “They’d be getting a player in that’s done really well for them. He seems to have settled into the club very quickly.
“Add in good performances and goals, important goals, then yeah, you’ve got to take that. Sometimes you get players that come from London that can’t settle up north. That’s the difficulty for players, you’re not getting the best out of them.
“He seems to have settled really well and just wants to play football. That’s a great sign.
“Young player, hungry, good and you can progress him more. You’re looking for that pace and that little bit of creativity that he has. He has goals and assists as well.
“You’re not going to be paying over the odds for Joe Willock but what you’re going to get is a real good player for value for money.”
In other news, promotion chasers have made Newcastle United star top target.