Newcastle midfielder Joe Willock is playing with confidence once more, according to Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie.
The 22-year-old joined the Magpies permanently for £25m last summer after a successful loan spell but has not consistently performed at his best this term.
How has Willock fared at Newcastle this season?
During his temporary stay at St James’ Park in the second half of last season, Willock scored eight goals in 14 league appearances, and it seemed like a no-brainer when Newcastle wrapped up a permanent deal for him in August.
However, he failed to score in his first 19 top-flight matches this season, and was not offering the same goal threat from midfield, which may have left some wondering if it was a mistake to bring him to the club.
Willock has gone some way to silencing the doubters in recent weeks, though, as he netted in back-to-back games against West Ham and Brentford in February, and he is now a regular in Eddie Howe’s starting XI.
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What has Downie said about Willock?
Downie has acknowledged that Willock appeared to lose his way in the early stages of the current campaign, but he now believes the former Arsenal man is firing on all cylinders.
He told GIVEMESPORT: “Just even speaking to Joe Willock, I could just sense that he’s got his mojo back, whereas he was looking like he was a little bit lost earlier in the season. It feels like he’s back to what Newcastle thought he was when they signed him.”
Will Willock return to the team for Thursday’s match against Everton?
Having started Newcastle’s previous seven matches, Willock had to sit out the side’s 1-0 defeat against Chelsea on Sunday due to illness.
Newcastle travel to Everton on Thursday, meaning that it is a quick turnaround in between games for the team.
Howe confirmed that Willock was close to being available for the trip to Stamford Bridge, though, before the club made a late decision to leave him out, which led to a tactical reshuffle as Newcastle moved to a 3-4-3 formation.
Downie has now declared that Willock has recovered and will be fit to take his place in the squad at Goodison Park.