Joe Willock: Newcastle boss Steve Bruce to test Arsenal's resolve to hold onto midfielder

Joe Willock has scored seven goals in 13 appearances since joining Newcastle United on loan from Arsenal; Newcastle boss Steve Bruce says he will test Arsenal's resolve to hold onto the midfielder but Mikel Arteta says he is part of his plans

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Newcastle manager Steve Bruce says he is prepared to 'test the resolve' of Arsenal in the summer transfer window to try and keep loan signing Joe Willock

Newcastle head coach Steve Bruce has vowed to test Arsenal's resolve to hold onto midfielder Joe Willock.

The 21-year-old has impressed while on loan at St James' Park and in midweek became the youngest player to score in six consecutive Premier League games.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta indicated that Newcastle's hopes of securing Willock's services on a longer-term basis would be in vain but Bruce is not giving up hope.

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Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta says he is happy for Willock after his loan spell at Newcastle proved to be so successful

"We always said that it was a double-edged sword, and we have to respect that he is Arsenal's player," said Bruce.

"We'll see over the summer whether we can test their resolve, but as I said from day one, I'd like to thank Mikel and Steve Round on the football side of it because they were instrumental in getting me him and letting us borrow him for a few months.

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"He's been great for us, he's been great for Newcastle. When I see what he's done in the last few weeks and the names who have scored six in six, it's quite remarkable, so well done to Joe.

"Let's see. As I've said many, many times now, I've got total respect. Let's not disrespect Arsenal, he is their player."

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Arteta was asked about Willock during his press conference on Friday and said there are no plans to allow him to leave on a permanent deal.

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Asked whether Willock will still be an Arsenal player next season, Arteta said: "For sure because he's got a contract and he's going to be here. That's for sure.

"I'm really happy things have gone so well for him because of the potential Joe had. 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. He will be back with us, we will have those conversations with him and plan the next few years for him."

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