Cenk Tosun was reportedly offered our way, while Olivier Giroud appeared to say ‘no’ to our loan bid, meaning January either saw the wrong players being rejected by Bruce or the right players being unavailable or uninterested in joining.
Looking back on our January struggles, Bruce remains adamant we could not get a player to improve us in a market where ‘everybody was clambering for a striker’ – but hopes to ‘get the right things’ when the window re-opens.
Speaking exclusively to the Chronicle’s Lee Ryder, here’s what Bruce had to say about our striker hunt:
“In January everybody was clambering for a striker.
“And we were the same.
“It was: ‘Can we find somebody for the top end of the pitch?’
“We could not get it (the right quality).”
“Of course we could have got a body in but it doesn’t improve you.
“We have that little bit of time now and get comfortable and look forward to the summer and try to get the right things.”
It says a lot about our recruitment that we spent £40m on a forward last summer, yet still feel the club lacks a goalscorer – which to me is down to our poor management of Joelinton on all fronts more than his inability to score in a team that hasn’t suited him one bit.
Back to our failed search for a striker in January, I still maintain it was a big risk and one we shouldn’t have made.
OK, Bruce insists there was no one out there that could’ve improved us, but I find that hard to believe when our current options were a misfiring Joelinton, an injured Carroll, an under confident, unproven and injury-prone Gayle and Muto – a player Bruce just doesn’t seem to fancy.
It hasn’t backfired so far, with Rose, Lazaro and Bentaleb helping us move 8 points clear of the drop zone since arriving, but the cracks can only be covered up so much.
We MUST get it right this summer (or whenever the window re-opens!) when it comes to the signing of a goalscorer – something this squad totally lacks for all it’s endeavour.