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Newcastle United announce no more spending this transfer window – Squad good (and fit) enough?

2 weeks ago
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Friday has seen Newcastle United confirm that no more money will be spent in this transfer window.

Despite doubts from fans about the quality and / or strength in depth, especially in certain areas, Mike Ashley refusing to allow further spending.

Only two transfer fees paid in this summer 2020 window then, around £30m-£35m spent on buying Jamal Lewis and Callum Wilson.

For once, the NUFC media were very much on the ball, having reported that this (£30m-£35m) would be the transfer budget this summer.

Steve Bruce talking to Sky Sports and asked about the likely further transfer business before the window closes on Monday (5 October):

“I don’t expect to be that busy.

“If something becomes available then of course we will act, but we went to work and made sure that our work was done, before the season started.

“The four or five players we brought in, were all brought in without this hectic scramble at the end.

“However, if a player, a good player, becomes available who can make a difference to us, on loan, then we will have a look at it.

“As we stand at the minute, I don’t expect to be busy

“We still have to let a few people leave this building and we will see what develops.”

Keith Downie of Sky Sports:

“You mentioned loans there, are you ruling out further transfer fees being paid?”

Steve Bruce:

“Yes, I’m ruling that out, yes.”

As well as the two buys, Newcastle have also brought in free transfers Jeff Hendrick, Mark Gillespie and Ryan Fraser.

Whilst moving out, there has been Florian Lejeune on loan to Alaves for the season, Dan Barlaser sold to Rotherham for around £300,000 and Yoshinori Muto on loan to Eibar for the season, as well as Freddie Woodman with Swansea for the season.

So as things stand, these are the possibilities for Newcastle United’s 25 man official Premier League squad that they will have to name after the closure of the transfer window, with Under 21 players such as Matty Longstaff and Elliot Anderson additional to that senior 25 man squad.

GOALKEEPERS

Dubravka, Darlow, Gillespie

RIGHT-BACKS

Manquillo, Krafth, Yedlin

LEFT-BACKS

Dummett, Lazaar, Lewis

CENTRE-BACKS

Lascelles, Fernandez, Schar, Clark

WINGERS / ATTACKING MIDFIELDERS

Ritchie, Almiron, Saint-Maximin, Murphy, Aarons, Atsu, Fraser

CENTRAL MIDFIELDERS

Hayden, Sean Longstaff, Shelvey, Saivet, Hendrick

STRIKERS

Joelinton, Gayle, Carroll, Wilson

I make that, as well as the three keepers, we have then 26 senior outfield players, with 22 outfield places to fill.

However, Steve Bruce has already said that Aarons, Lazaar and Saivet have to find new clubs (though yet again Saivet was pictured training with the first team as recently as Thursday).

Bruce clearly also wants Atsu to move on, whilst others such as Murphy and Yedlin were also expected to leave, but may well be set to be staying, especially if no money to be spent, or even loan deals blocked as well, unless players can be moved out.

There are obviously widespread doubts amongst the fanbase regarding Steve Bruce’s ability.

However, is there the ability in this current Newcastle United squad, especially in terms of being able to score goals?

We are also seeing endless new injuries announced, something that has been a constant during Bruce’s time here and indeed a regular problem throughout his managerial career.

It would be daft to suggest that all, or even most, injuries are down to him, but many fans do believe that at times Steve Bruce has rushed players back from injury too early, or overplayed certain individuals at times.

Bruce tried to put a positive spin on the injury situation at his press conference earlier today, saying that it could be possible that a week on Monday we could see Paul Dummett, Matty Longstaff and Ciaran Clark all back in full training.

However, as things stand, Dummett hasn’t started a Premier League game since January, nor has Matty Longstaff, whilst Clark hasn’t started one since February.

Dwight Gayle and Martin Dubravka are still long-term injured, whilst today Steve Bruce said that both Jamaal Lascelles (hamstring) and Emil Krafth (hip) are big doubts for the Burnley game on Saturday.

However, he is hoping Allan Saint-Maximin will be available, so long as he has no issues in training today.

Last month, The Telegraph’s Luke Edwards, who is close to Steve Bruce, said that the NUFC Head Coach was still very keen to bring in another striker and a centre-back.

Well certainly nothing should have changed there, no matter what Steve Bruce said today.

Newcastle United desperate for these two signings, whether permanent or on loan.

Callum Wilson is looking decent with two goals in the opening three Premier League matches BUT apart from him…?

It is now 30 months since Andy Carroll scored a Premier League goal and he never looks like scoring, Dwight Gayle won’t be back until 2021, then whilst Joelinton has done a little better recently including at Tottenham, he still never really looks like scoring in the league and tends to do any positive work well away from the goal. If Wilson gets injured…

As for centre-backs…in the Carabao Cup we have already seen three right-backs playing in the same back four in one game.

Clark and Dummett look increasingly injury prone, whilst Steve Bruce clearly doesn’t really rate Fabian Schar. With Bruce allowing Florian Lejeune out on loan and now Lascelles having an issue with his hamstring, you have to think Newcastle desperately need another option.

Already in the first three weeks of the season, Emil Krafth and Isaac Hayden have had to play as emergency centre-backs and neither look comfortable there.

I would say it is essential that at least a couple of more decent signings come in but I can’t say I have any confidence in it happening.

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