Former Arsenal midfielder pushing to face Tottenham Hotspur as Eddie Howe assesses Newcastle United options

Joe Willock’s pushing to return to Newcastle United’s starting XI.

The midfielder, signed on a permanent deal from Arsenal last year after a successful half-season loan, hasn’t started any of the club’s last three games because of illness.

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However, with Joelinton doubtful for this afternoon’s game against Tottenham Hotspur with a knee injury – and Jonjo Shelvey not yet fit enough to start after recovering from hamstring surgery – Howe may turn to the 23-year-old at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

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"He's not fully over it, or he wasn't around the Everton game,” said United's head coach. “He was still feeling a little under the weather. I'd love to think, with a few more days, he'll be getting closer to 100%."

Meanwhile, Willock’s looking to score his first goal of the season. He said: “We need key players in our system to either assist or score. Because we’ve been playing a 4-3-3, that’s a big expectation on the No.8s.”

Newcastle United midfielder Joe Willock.Newcastle United midfielder Joe Willock.
Newcastle United midfielder Joe Willock.