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Sky Sports pundit says Steve Bruce will need to sell first if Newcastle are to buy anybody in January

10 months ago
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Speaking ahead of the game against Wolves, Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas says that Newcastle United ‘have hit a brick wall’, losing the last three Premier League games and conceding nine goals in the process, as well as lucky to get away with a draw at League One Rochdale last weekend.

Charlie Nicholas references the fact that he has ‘been singing the praises of Newcastle United…’ (particularly Steve Bruce) but the reality is that only two Premier League clubs have scored less than Newcastle’s feeble 20 goals, whilst only two clubs outside the bottom two have conceded more than the 33 goals have leaked.

These stats giving added weight to the fact that Newcastle have carried massive luck this season in picking up the points that they have, despite the opposition teams dominating week after week and NUFC creating less chances than any other club.

Charlie Nicholas says Newcastle have ‘hit a brick wall’ but for the realists it is clear that the outrageous luck Steve Bruce has enjoyed, has finally ran out.

As to remedying the ever worsening results, there is talk of some injured players being back on Saturday.

However, even if everybody was fit, it wouldn’t change the fact that Joelinton, Carroll, Gayle, Saint-Maximin, Muto and Almiron have only scored three Premier League goals between them this season and we are now well past halfway.

Nine days into the January transfer window and Newcastle United have been linked with a daily increasing list of attacking and creative players.

Charlie Nicholas though says that he doesn’t believe Mike Ashley will allow Steve Bruce to buy anybody, unless he first raises that money by selling somebody. A bit of a problem when the few players who Newcastle could easily sell for decent money are also, obviously, our best players.

Otherwise, Charlie Nicholas says he thinks at best Bruce will only be allowed a loan or two,which has been the case in most January windows under Mike Ashley. Before Miguel Almiron was bought on 31 January 2019, in only one January since 2013 had Mike Ashley allowed any players to be bought, that being the failed attempt to prevent relegation when buying Shelvey, Townsend and Saivet in January 2016.

Lee Charnley stated in April (2019) that there was £61m available to spend this season, plus any money raised by sales. On that basis there should be around £28m left to spend on players in this window (plus cash from any sales…) after a net spend of just over £30m last summer.

Charlie Nicholas gives fatigue as the only real reason why Wolves won’t beat Newcastle and gives a 1-1 draw prediction.

However, only the top six have scored more goals than Wolves and none of the bottom eleven clubs, including Newcastle, have conceded as few as Nuno’s team.

Wolves have scored in 19 of their last 20 Premier League games (home and away) and are up against a team who have scored only nine goals in ten away matches and have lost seven of those ten.

Newcastle United badly need to bounce back to prevent being fully dragged back into the relegation mire and to do so Steve Bruce needs to finally come up with some kind of plan to score goals and at the same time, get the defence back on form.

Interestingly. Charlie Nicholas describes Wolves as ‘not overly glamorous’ but reality is they were seventh last season and qualified for Europe, are one point off fifth at the minute AND have spent £188m on players since promotion in 2018, including a net spend of £164m.

Charlie Nicholas talking to Sky Sports:

“I have been singing the praises of Newcastle but now they have hit a brick wall.

“Steve Bruce needs a couple of loans but I don’t think he will get the money for a purchase, unless they sell a player to earn it.

“They have a few injuries too so they are struggling.

“I have no idea who they will be targeting but they need players in, as they are in a bit of a free fall situation at the moment.

“Wolves are not overly glamorous but they are sitting in seventh, six points off the Champions League places, so they will want to get the job done and get away from it.

“However, it is these types of games that Wolves struggle with and I think they will struggle once more.

“They have played a massive amount of games – sometimes you get a rest but it is a mental fatigue as much as a physical fatigue, so they could come unstuck here.

“Prediction is Wolves 1 Newcastle 1.”

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