Joe Willock joins Newcastle on loan from Arsenal

Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock has signed for Newcastle United on loan for the remainder of the season.

The 21-year-old has struggled for game time at the Emirates Stadium so far this season, featuring just seven times in the Premier League and starting only twice.

Willock made 44 appearances for Arsenal in all competition last season, and was hailed as one of the brighter talents to recently emerge from the club's academy. He was an unused substitute in their FA Cup final win over Chelsea, but played the last 10 minutes of their Community Shield victory against Liverpool on penalties.

Following confirmation of the deal, Newcastle boss Steve Bruce said: "I'm delighted to bring Joe to Newcastle until the end of the season. He is a very exciting and talented young player who can get up and down the pitch and can score a goal from midfield.

"He has made a very decent impact at Arsenal after coming through the ranks and to make nearly 80 appearances for the club by the age of 21 says much about his development, ability and character.

"He is very keen to come here and test himself and he'll be a great addition to the squad."

Willock is one of a number of names who have left Arsenal this month. Mesut Ozil and Sokratis Papastathopoulos both had their contracts terminated earlier this month, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Shkodran Mustafi have departed to West Brom and Schalke respectively.

Despite Arsenal's lack of balance in midfield at times this season, Willock has scarcely been called upon by Mikel Arteta, and so the decision has been made that a loan move would be best for all parties. Arsenal recently strengthened in the middle of the park too, bringing in Martin Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid for the rest of the season.

Willock's minutes have largely come in cup competitions this season | Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Getty Images

Willock now heads to a Newcastle side trying to avoid being dragged into a relegation scrap. Their win at Everton on Saturday ended a run of 11 games without a win in all competitions, and have now moved eight points clear of the drop zone.

The Magpies had been linked with a move for Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Idrissa Gueye, but reports in France claims the Senegalese international turned down the chance to move to St James' Park - when queried about the report, manager Steve Bruce joked he had actually been looking to bring in Neymar instead.

Source : 90min