Steve Bruce has ruled out the signing of another forward this summer, insisting we have enough options in attack and others priorities to focus on.
After fans have voiced their concern over the lack of cover behind Callum Wilson, the NUFC boss was asked if we’re in the market for a striker last night following our 1-1 draw with Rotherham.
We’re one short now Andy Carroll has been released and struggled when our top scorer was injured last season, yet Bruce somehow believes “we’ve got adequate cover up there”, stating the likes of Saint-Maximin, Joelinton and Almiron are viable options up top behind out-and-out strikers Wilson and Gayle.
A baffling take on what should be a crucial area to improve, especially when we ended last night’s pre-season friendly with no forward on the pitch and Jeff Hendrick up front!
Bruce also offered an ‘update’ on our never-ending attempt to re-sign Joe Willock, warning the 21-year-old that we have back-up options and won’t ‘wait forever’ for a decision to be made on his availability.
Here’s what he had to say on all of the above, starting with a concerning response when asked if we’ll be replacing Carroll:
“We’ve got Allan, Joe, Almiron. We’ve got Dwight. We’ve got five. How many do you have in a squad of 22 outfield players?
“I’ve probably got to look at picking four goalkeepers in the squad, which is a little bit unheard of, but with the problems I’ve got there, that’s in the back of my mind at the minute.
“The midfield area is a must, in my opinion. We’ll look to try and strengthen there first.
“When everybody’s right, then I think we’ve got adequate cover up there [in attack]”
Steve Bruce on Joe Willock:
“I’ve said many times now, he’s Arsenal’s player.
“Joe has to decide.
“But there has to be a cut-off point where we can’t wait forever.
“We have one or two other options and it would be wrong if we didn’t.
“Joe is our first choice and we are encouraged to keep bashing away.
“There is a cut off point though.”
Our reluctance to sign another striker sums up the level of neglect, amateurish approach and constant risk-taking at Newcastle United.
With Muto not in Bruce’s plans, we currently have just TWO senior strikers at the club in Wilson and Gayle – and the latter is anything but reliable should our new no.9 get injured.
Also, since when were Almiron or ASM capable of playing up front? The former is an attacking midfielder and the latter a winger, so it’s alarming to think they’ll be asked to step in to a role that doesn’t suit them.
As for Willock, we can’t wait forever, but I don’t see why the delay at Arsenal’s end has brought all other potential business to a standstill – especially when we’re said to be in the market for a centre-back and TWO midfielders.