EPL

'Like Ronaldinho', 'only Modric...' – Guimaraes marvels at Willock after outrageous assist

By Sports Desk April 24, 2023

Joe Willock was compared to Ronaldinho and Luka Modric after a sparkling performance in Newcastle United's rout of Tottenham that included one of the assists of the season.

Newcastle team-mate Bruno Guimaraes has dubbed the midfielder "Willockinho", and he more than lived up to that nickname on Sunday.

Willock, who coach Eddie Howe is backing for an England call-up, produced perhaps the moment of the match in a 6-1 win, his sensational outside-of-the-boot pass sending Alexander Isak away for the fourth of five goals in the first 21 minutes.

That was Willock's fifth assist in the Premier League this season to go with three goals as one of the key men in a Newcastle team closing on Champions League qualification.

Only Kieran Trippier (five) and Guimaraes (four) created more than Willock's three chances against Spurs, and the Brazil international was suitably impressed.

Guimaraes told reporters: "Willockinho, with his new hair today... he looked like Ronaldinho and played like him, too. 

"An amazing through ball for [Isak's] goal. What a pass. Only Modric can play a pass like that. It was amazing."

Newcastle climbed back up to third with the win, now six points ahead of their fifth-placed opponents and still with a game in hand.

Liverpool and Brighton and Hove Albion are perhaps better placed to challenge Newcastle than Tottenham, though, and Guimaraes knows the job is not yet done.

"Of course we are thinking about the Champions League, but let's take it step by step," he said.

"We can do it, of course, but there's still seven games to go. We started this way – now let's finish the season this way."

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