The BBC Radio Newcastle commentator also feels the ‘neat and tidy’ Valentino Lazaro needs to do more, but his take on Rose and Bentaleb is particularly damning.
He feels Rose is ‘doing things in his own time’ and showed a real lack of desire at Crystal Palace, also feeling he’s yet to see what Bentaleb even does – believing Isaac Hayden has much more to offer on current form.
Here’s what he’s had to say following last weekend’s defeat at Selhurst Park, suggesting Bruce has gone against his January promise of “we’ll only sign players who improve us” based on what he’s seen so far:
“Bruce said he wasn’t going to bring players in just for the sake of it, that the players that he brings in will be better than what we already have.
“Well, the three he has brought in in January haven’t brought anything to the side,”
“Danny Rose…Everything was done on his own time,”
“He never got involved, never got forward. Playing as a wing back, he did not get in advanced positions.
“Lazaro, on the other side, neat and tidy but again didn’t do enough.
“Bentaleb…..Isaac Hayden must be sat there thinking ‘is this guy doing anything that I didn’t do?’.
“Isaac Hayden runs around and he gets in and about people and he puts tackles in. Bentaleb….he doesn’t do a great deal.”
His comments about Rose are very accurate based on what we’ve seen so far, sadly.
It’s early days and he may be building up his fitness levels, but he barely moved out of his own half at Palace – which is not what you’d expect from a wing-back who’s expected to be supporting Saint-Maximin in attack.
He doesn’t look fit and has looked reluctant to get forward in his two starts. On the flip side, Lazaro has been a dangerous outlet going forward and has shown a real willingness to get into good positions – however he’s been found out defensively a few too many times (despite doing OK against Zaha for the majority of last weekend’s defeat).
As for Bentaleb, he looks like a player who’s only made a few starts at senior level since last April.
That said, shouldn’t Bruce have realised this and eased him in gradually – not thrown him into the deep end immediately at the expense of reliable midfielder Isaac Hayden?