In the Chronicle’s article yesterday addressing the club’s reply to Jeremy Corbyn, there was an intriguing line about Steve Bruce’s January transfer plans.
The piece claimed that the NUFC head coach plans to sign a ‘winger’ and a ‘mobile central midfielder‘ in January, with the club’s latest statement also hinting that money will be available to spend in the new year.
Here’s a snippet from the article:
‘Jeremy Corbyn’s comments following his visit to Newcastle may well have irked Mike Ashley, but Steve Bruce now finds himself with an unexpected pledge on January transfers.
‘For Bruce, who hopes to sign a winger and a mobile central midfielder in January, he knows this is only the first phase of his stint in charge.
‘The standout line in the statement for the Geordie boss will be: “We will not apologise for being financially sustainable, but we will push the boundaries of our budgets as far as possible to maximise the impact on the team”‘.
I’d argue a striker should be included in that list, and maybe more of a priority than a winger and mobile midfielder.
The midfield is an intriguing area though. Like Rafa did last year with Sean, Bruce seems to have stumbled upon a gem in Matty Longstaff. It’s only been one game but I don’t think there’s a single Newcastle fan who wouldn’t start them together at Chelsea on October 19th, and Hayden will return from suspension and push for a place in the starting line up.
Then you come to Ki and Shelvey, who have both had woeful starts to the season, and just don’t seem mobile enough to offer anything to the team, despite their undoubted technical ability. It’s also been reported that Bruce is secretly unhappy about the decision to allow Mo Diame to leave, and would like more experience and defensive nous in there.
So do we need two midfielders? A defensive one and then another who can get forward and chip in with a few goals.
Then onto the winger situation. Almiron, Saint Maximin, Atsu and Ritchie is a decent pool on paper, but I still worry about there being enough goals in there.
I think we need to be looking for 10 goals at least from the two forward wide players if we’re to stay up, with us needing to replace what Ayoze Perez contributed in the final third over the past two season.
What positions do you think we need to strengthen in January?