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Opinion

Time now for honesty about these Steve Bruce Newcastle United signings

4 weeks ago
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There have been 12 Newcastle United signings made since July 2019.

Steve Bruce appointed on 17 July 2019 and since then some £100m+ net spend on players.

Mike Ashley of course forced Rafa Benitez out, so that he could once again be in complete control and have final say on transfers.

However, Steve Bruce has repeatedly insisted that every single one of the Newcastle United signings made these past 18 months, has been his final decision.

So let us have a look at what Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce have managed between them in the transfer market.

Time for a bit of honesty…

Joelinton £40m

There is no competition, this is the most disastrous signing in Newcastle United’s entire 129 year history.

Three goals in 54 Premier League appearances and a striker who doesn’t even like going in the box.

Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce should hang their heads in shame.

Allan Saint-Maximin £20m

A very exciting player and great to watch.

However, with only four goals scored and five assists in over a year and a half in the Premier League, we are still waiting for a proper end product. Only one goal and one assist this season.

Nevertheless, fair to say that Steve Bruce hasn’t got a clue how to win games without the French winger.

With ASM starting it is 13 wins in 31 Premier League games, without him in the starting 11 it is 3 wins in 27 for Steve Bruce.

Emil Krafth £5m

Hopeless.

Newcastle United have been desperate for quality in both full-back positions for a long long time.

Steve Bruce managing to find a new immobile option who is even worse than the poor to average options (Yedlin, Manquillo) that already existed.

Andy Carroll £0

Yes there may not have been a transfer fee but this PR / gimmick signing has been a total joke.

Only one goal in a year and a half, making it one Premier League goal in these past 34 months for Andy Carroll.

A liability when he starts as so immobile, incredible to believe that Ashley and Bruce found Carroll and Joelinton as the replacements after the owner was happy to see the back of the two top goalscorers (Rondon and Perez).

Nabil Bentaleb Loan

Terrible.

Bringing in a loan player who was far worse than any other existing midfield option.

Valentino Lazaro Loan

A bizarre one.

Highly rated winger that Steve Bruce refused to give a chance to, only four PL starts and played as a full-back in two of them and effectively a defender in the other two as well, as up against Man City and Liverpool.

Danny Rose Loan

Never looked fully fit or interested in his time at Newcastle.

Difficult to believe he had been England’s first choice left-back not that long ago.

Mark Gillespie £0

A new third choice goalkeeper.

Has done everything asked of him.

Jeff Hendrick £0

The ‘ghost’ has been underwhelming to say the least.

I have never seen a midfield player get involved in a match so little. When you do see him, you can guarantee he will playing the ball backwards.

Callum Wilson £20m

An obvious signing but no complaints that Newcastle went for him, as it is horrific to think where NUFC would be without him. Has scored eight goals from only 24 shots and with four assists, including against Leeds on Tuesday, has been directly involved in 12 of Newcastle’s paltry 19 PL goals.

However, as I say, an obvious signing and Newcastle the ones to pay pretty big money and wages for a player who turns 29 next month (February 2021). If he keeps NUFC in the Premier League it will prove a snip of course.

Reality as well that four of the eight goals have been penalties and a miracle to get so many spot-kicks considering how few times Newcastle get in the opposition box.

Ryan Fraser £0

I think he has some ability but I have never been convinced that this was a good deal for Newcastle.

The way he treated Bournemouth was abysmal.

Admitted that he had stopped trying in his final season as they got relegated, Fraser running his contract down so he would get far bigger wages and signing on fee at his next club.

By messing Bournemouth around so much he played so little football and then had no club to train with, so no surprise he has had so many injury and fitness issues so far, only making four PL starts and Newcastle losing three of them and drawing the other.

I fear he will be a player who people keep talking about as key to the rest of the season but actually delivering vey little.

Jamal Lewis £15m

A young player and you hope he can turn it around.

However, fair to say that Lewis has been as bad as Krafth so far. Looks weak in defence and since the promise of his debut against West Ham, has contributed next to nothing going forward.

Conclusion

In the final analysis, after starving Rafa Benitez of funds, Mike Ashley has allowed a relative fortune to be spent on transfer fees and wages in these past 18 months.

As things stand, the positives from these Newcastle United signings are a wildcard French winger who is still to show he can regularly score and assist on top of his undeniable dribbling talent, plus a Premier League level centre-forward who is completely starved of service.

No wonder Newcastle United find themselves in a relegation battle with this poor overall business in the transfer market and a failure to move out so many players who simply aren’t good enough, yet regularly make the squad and even team so often.

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