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Opinion

Fans hopes fade of Newcastle United signing a striker this summer after latest Steve Bruce comments

1 month ago
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Steve Bruce was asked after the January transfer window closed, why he hadn’t signed a striker.

The NUFC Head Coach then rightly ridiculed when he claimed it was because there was nobody available that was better than what Newcastle United already had.

Since then, he has been repeatedly asked (see below) about the club’s summer transfer plans and especially if the essential new goalscoring centre-forward was going to be brought in.

Fair to say that pretty much every Newcastle fan sees this as by far the biggest priority.

In March, Steve Bruce said that after not bringing a striker in during January, it meant that now had plenty time to prepare for the summer transfer window, which would enable them to bring in the new centre-forward.

Just before the end of last season a month ago, asked again about bringing in a striker. Steve Bruce said that they needed to sign at least four or five new players and stated that Joelinton was clearly not a centre-forward, indicating that a striker was set to be targeted.

However, now we are on day 30 of the transfer window and not a penny spent on transfer fees so far, despite only 18 days until the new season starts, Steve Bruce has very much changed his tune. ‘I know it is a pivotal part of Newcastle’s folklore [the centre-forward position]. If we can improve in any position, then I’ll try. But certainly the forward areas are always the most mouthwatering ones and the ones which get reported on. I have got to look at all areas of the squad and I was really impressed with Dwight at the end of the season. The way he finished – he had four in seven games when he was getting a bit fit, he has come back and burst onto the scene. looking in tip-top shape.’

So, suddenly Newcastle United don’t need a new centre-forward because Dwight Gayle is the answer to all our problems. Nothing to do with Mike Ashley refusing to allow any quality signings to be brought in this summer. Indeed, a Mail exclusive even told us that after speaking to agents, they had said that Newcastle were looking at bringing in free transfers and loans, where ideally they (NUFC) wouldn’t be expected to pay all of the wages. With that background, the chances of getting a credible goalscorer are infinitely minute.

Dwight Gayle is what he is, a decent striker who is too good for the Championship but not good enough to be first choice in the Premier League. He has never scored more than seven goals in a Premier League season before and also regular picks up injuries, with recurring problems in the hamstring and thigh muscle areas.

Also, if Dwight Gayle was the answer to Newcastle’s problems, it was funny that Steve Bruce never realised it throughout the vast majority of last season.

Available once again and back to full fitness after September 2019, Dwight Gayle then spent a very frustrating three months. Very bizarrely, every week Steve Bruce would say how highly he rated Gayle and then he wouldn’t play him.

Newcastle really struggling for goals but Bruce blindly (under orders?) persevering with Joelinton through the middle, whilst Dwight Gayle went through October, November and December sitting on the bench, until finally 19 games into the season, the striker started in the defeat at Old Trafford on Boxing Day.

Partly due to injury but with Steve Bruce also deciding to leave him on the bench once again, Dwight Gayle only started three more PL games before lockdown.

After the Premier League restart, seemingly in desperation because Joelinton had been so terrible through the middle, Steve Bruce at last gave Dwight Gayle a chance.

In eight appearances (six starts and two from the bench), Gayle scored four goals, instantly becoming the top goalscoring striker of the season for NUFC. That beating the zero goals for Carroll, two for Joelinton and none for Muto.

Personally, I would have got rid of Carroll, Joelinton and Muto this summer and kept Dwight Gayle, but only as a back-up striker. We desperately needed two new strikers but after Bruce’s latest nonsense I think we can kiss that goodbye.

Good luck to Gayle but it is laughable if Newcastle are going to head into the new season with the 29 year old as the main hope of goals.

Plus he only has 10 months of his contract remaining, so if he is that vital now to NUFC, why no new contract sorted?

This summer transfer window is a joke so far and it is not a funny one.

The lowest goals total last season since 1997/98, the third worst PL form over the final 20 games (only four wins) of last season, yet what appears to be zero attempt to fix any of this in the transfer window.

To make matters even worse, we then have Steve Bruce talking absolute nonsense to cover up for Ashley’s refusal to allow any investment in the squad.

Steve Bruce asked why he didn’t sign a striker in January 2020 transfer window – 3 February 2020:

“There was nobody out there who we could realistically get, who would make us better.”

Steve Bruce asked if looking to bring a centre-forward in the summer – 19 March 2020:

“In January everybody was clambering for a striker and we were the same.

“We could not get it (the right quality striker) – we could have got a body in but it doesn’t improve you.

“We have that little bit of time now and look forward to the summer to try to get the right things.”

Steve Bruce asked about whether looking to bring in a new centre-forward – 21 July 2020:

“I think we need four or five players [this summer] to add to the squad of players we’ve got and so we will go to work on that.

“I have always said with Joelinton that I think he is better playing to a side.

“So it’s quite possible that a centre-forward could be on the list.”

Steve Bruce asked whether Newcastle will be bringing in a new centre-forward, as quoted by the Chronicle – 25 August 2020:

“I know it is a pivotal part of Newcastle’s folklore [the centre-forward position].

“If we can improve in any position, then I’ll try.

“But certainly the forward areas are always the most mouthwatering ones and the ones which get reported on.

“I have got to look at all areas of the squad and I was really impressed with Dwight at the end of the season.

“The way he finished – he had four in seven games when he was getting a bit fit, he has come back and burst onto the scene. looking in tip-top shape.”

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