This article forms part of our What Does The Future Hold series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at what potentially lies ahead for a player, manager or club.
Despite Newcastle United having an option to buy, it looks like Jetro Willems could be returning to parent club Eintracht Frankfurt at the end of his loan spell.
According to Bild (via Sport Witness), following the serious ligament injury the 25-year-old picked up, the Magpies are now unlikely to pay the €11m (£10.1m) fee that is needed to sign him permanently.
If Willems is out for the rest of the calendar year, then there is some logic in the above, though a report from the Chronicle Live has refuted such claims. But overall, given how he has performed at St. James’ Park this season, you cannot help but feel that Newcastle could be making a mistake if they decide against buying him outright.
As Steve Bruce continues to utilise a back five, Willems looks a perfect fit for that left wing-back position — he brings both attacking and defensive qualities to the side. As per WhoScored, the Dutchman has scored twice and assisted twice — with both goals coming against Liverpool and Manchester City.
He is also averaging 1.1 dribbles per league game, the joint-fourth highest average in Newcastle’s squad — an impressive feat for a defender. As for his defensive duties, Willems ranks fifth when it comes to tackles made with just under two, while he is also committing just 0.5 fouls a match.
Will that be enough to convince the powers-that-be at Newcastle? It will be interesting to see; his long-term injury has really complicated things, making a St. James’ Park exit seem like a real possibility. But given his contribution so far, and for just £10m, the Magpies really should be looking to retain his services.
Newcastle fans, what does the future hold for Willems? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!
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