Pure and simple, Steve Bruce has to name his 25-man squad in the coming days and it seems that, after another abysmal transfer window, we have pretty much a cast-iron squad with that bitter twist of lemon thrown in.
It seems he’s going to name four, yes FOUR, goalkeepers in his squad thus not enabling him any room for manoeuvre.
Before the debacle of the transfer window, it seemed four goalkeepers was something he was seriously considering. Now it appears not only does Bruce feel that he has to name four keepers, he may even be doing so just to show the hopelessness of the current situation.
It would be a bizarre way to express himself, but needs must. Freddie is fit and deservedly #1 at the moment. Dubravka was class last season when he returned and will be nailed on to return as soon as he’s fit.
Darlow has long COVID and it doesn’t appear that anyone knows when he’ll be back, although it doesn’t seem any time soon is the answer.
Then there’s Gillespie. Never really done anything wrong nor let us down, however it would be farcical if a fourth choice GK stood in the way of us making a much needed first-team addition on deadline day.
Personally, if Bruce had managed to land a loan signing, I think he would have been tempted to leave Gillespie out of the squad and use the option of U23 stopper Dan Langley if necessary.
But then again it’ll be interesting to see if any other Premier League side goes down the four keeper’s route. I highly doubt it.
Bruce called it “unprecedented” last month and he’d probably be right!
It’s very rare that teams need more than two in the squad although most will name three just in case – even though the #3 will get virtually no time at all.