Newcastle United identify Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley as an alternative to Joe Willock

Newcastle United have lined up Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley as an alternative to Arsenal‘s Joe Willock.

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The Magpies are interested in bringing Joe Willock, 21, back to the club. The Hale End graduate joined Newcastle United on a short-term loan in January and mightily impressed, breaking the Premier League record to become the youngest ever player to score in seven consecutive matches.

Willock played a crucial role in Newcastle United staving off relegation and finishing a respectable 12th on the table. With eight goals in 11 Premier League starts for Steve Bruce’s side, the 21-year-old midfielder quickly became a fan favourite at St. James’ Park.

While Willock too is keen to re-join Steve Bruce’s side, Arsenal are yet to give a concrete reply to the Magpies. Thus, Newcastle have alternatives lined up for Willock and want to bring in new players in time for the season’s kick off against West Ham. They have identified Ross Barkley as a potential alternative to the Gunners midfielder.

Ross Barkley, 27, spent the last season on loan at Aston Villa from Chelsea. The midfielder struggled with consistency at Villa Park, managing three goals and one assist in 18 Premier League starts. With Thomas Tuchel ready to offload the fringe players he thinks are not in his plans at Chelsea, the England international is amongst a host of players who could leave the Stamford Bridge this summer.

Newcastle United remain in the hunt for a creative midfielder

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce has very limited midfield options at his disposal. Isaac Hayden and Jonjo Shelvey have been first-team regulars, but the latter’s groin injury will sideline him for the start of the season, leaving Bruce to pick either Jeff Hendrick, Sean and Matty Longstaff to partner Hayden in the engine room in the Magpies’ opening game of the season against West Ham.

The Tyneside-based club are yet to make a signing so far in the transfer window. And while reinforcing the backline has to be prioritised, a tally of just 46 goals in 38 games last season means that Bruce needs to surely add more spark to his team’s rather toothless attack. In short, they need more than Paraguayan international Miguel Almiron’s craft and energy from midfield to challenge for a top-half finish in the 2021/22 campaign.

Ross Barkley would give a cutting edge to the Magpies’ attack

Things haven’t worked well for Ross Barkley at Chelsea since he joined from Everton three summers ago. He did not impress much at Aston Villa on loan as well, but the English midfielder could be of great help for Newcastle. Steve Bruce can bring the best out of him too, as documented with Joe Willock last term.

It remains to be seen who plays with Hayden in the double-pivot in the first few games, but Barkley arriving at Newcastle—either on loan or permanently—could provide Bruce with a creative player who possesses the ability to create chances from central midfield with his passing range and movement.

The Chelsea outcast would certainly improve the Toon Army’s midfield options, whilst giving Bruce more quality on top of what Shelvey gives in the engine room. The 27-year-old would certainly provide a different dimension to Newcastle’s play if a deal materialises and help overcome their issues in attack.

At 27, Barkley is in the prime of his career, and being a Premier League-proven player, he could make an instant impact at St. James’ Park in the upcoming campaign.

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