Newcastle United have suffered a major setback before their Premier League clash against West Ham on Sunday afternoon.
Despite the hugely exciting news of Joe Willock’s signing on a permanent deal from Arsenal, the England under-21 international will not be able to make his ‘proper’ debut for the Magpies at the London Stadium.
Writing for The Chronicle on Friday afternoon, Lee Ryder said: “Willock arrived on Tyneside last night but the formalities of the incoming deal meant he was not registered in time for the 12pm deadline with the Premier League. Steve Bruce was hoping to sign Willock in time to be on the bench for the clash with West Ham.”
The midfielder was an absolute revelation for the Magpies during his loan spell at St James’ Park earlier this year, netting eight goals in 14 games for the club, as well as becoming the youngest player in Premier League history to score in seven consecutive top-flight matches.
Speaking after confirmation of Willock’s signing, Bruce said: “I’m absolutely delighted to secure our number one target. We have had to be patient and persistent, but it has been worth the wait to bring Joe back. I want to thank Lee Charnley in particular for the work he has put in to make the deal happen.
“The club have gone above and beyond to make it possible. Joe is a wonderful young player with all the attributes you want in a midfielder, and he certainly proved that during his time with us last season.
“This is a move I know our supporters really wanted us to make, and I know they will join me in giving Joe a very warm welcome back to St. James’ Park.”
The Magpies faced West Ham in the opening game of the Premier League last season and came away 2-0 winners from the London Stadium.
This time around the game will be played on their own turf at St James’ Park, and Bruce will be hoping for a similar performance and result, but they will have to do it without their one and only summer signing in Willock.
Newcastle fans must be gutted to see their new signing miss out on their first game of the Premier League season.