Newcastle United explore January move for Jetro Willems as defender avidly follows club's campaign
Jetro Willems is among Newcastle United’s January transfer targets.
The defender’s loan at the club last season was cut short by injury. Willems – who quickly won over fans after joining from Eintracht Frankfurt – ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament against Chelsea in January – and returned to his parent club.
Newcastle enquired about Willems in the summer as he completed his rehabilitation programme, but the club was told he wouldn't be fully fit before the transfer deadline. United went on to sign Jamal Lewis from Norwich City for £15million.
Willems has since returned to full training at the Bundesliga club, and the 26-year-old will be available for transfer in the January transfer window with his contract set to expire next summer.
A return to United has been mooted in Germany, and the Gazette understands that Newcastle are exploring a possible New Year move for the left-back.
Asked if he was open to one day returning to Newcastle to finish what he started, Willems said: “Of course, of course. It’s sad that it ended like that. I feel like I’m not done yet. We will see. It would be great to be back – and show them at St James’s.”
More recently, Willems tweeted a photograph of himself watching United’s game against Southampton at the St Mary’s Stadium early this month.
Newcastle fans responded to Willems’ tweet with messages imploring him to return to St James’s Park.
Meanwhile, Paul Dummett, United’s other left-back, hasn't played a competitive first-team game since January, when he suffered a hamstring injury.
Head coach Steve Bruce said: “Paul’s one of these people who’s really suffered from not having a pre-season. If anybody needed a pre-season, it was Paul.
"I keep telling you now we (normally) have six weeks to get them fit – and probably six games to get right.
"Paul would probably have used all of those games to get himself in good condition. He’s still not 100% right. We’ve got to be a bit more patient. We’re quietly confident that he’ll be OK.”