Eddie Howe names Newcastle United player he rates 'very, very highly'

Joe Willock couldn’t stop scoring when he joined Newcastle United.

Willock scored in seven successive games after joining the club on loan from Arsenal in January 2020 – and those goals helped keep the club in the Premier League.

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The midfielder’s found goals harder to come by since making the move permanent – and he only netted twice last season. However, Willock made it two goals from two games with Newcastle’s winner against Chelsea on Saturday night.

Willock’s strike from the edge of the box gave the club a 1-0 win over Graham Potter’s team – and moved the club back up to third place.

Eddie Howe and his staff have been working closely with the 23-year-old this season to get more goals and assists from him.

“I rate him very, very highly,” said United’s head coach, who labelled Willock’s emphatic second-half strike as a “moment of magic”.

“He’s another player, for me, who’s continued to improve this season. He’s got really, really good qualities. You look at the physical effort from our midfield five, it was very high. He’s a vital part in that.

Newcastle United's Joe Willock celebrates his goal.

"He does have goals in him. I’ve said this all the time I’ve been working with Joe. He’s a goalscorer, he’s potentially a goal creator. The way he took his goal was something we see quite regularly in training.

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"I’m delighted for him personally, because he kept going. I know he was disappointed not to score earlier in the season, but two from two (games), I’m really pleased for him.”