Newcastle United update on situation regarding 5 NUFC players ahead of new season
Not the best of days, or nights, for Newcastle United fans.
Earlier on Tuesday we found out that on the Newcastle United Takeover front, it would be late September before a hearing would be held to even consider whether or not the CAT have jurisdiction to hear Mike Ashley’s claims of anti-competition abuse from the Premier League. With of course any arbitration hearing not scheduled to start until early 2022, at the earliest.
Tuesday night then brought reports from French media saying that Joe Willock is now in talks with Monaco, about a potential move to Ligue 1.
Then a really poor performance and lucky draw at Rotherham rounded things off, with Steve Bruce then admitting afterwards that he had no good news to report in terms of imminent new signings, despite the new season only two and a half weeks away.
So what about the current Newcastle United squad?
Steve Bruce speaking to BBC Newcastle and giving a number of updates on various players:
The absence of Alan Saint-Maximin from the Newcastle squad at Rotherham saw the club say before kick-off that it was ‘illness’ that was keeping ASM away, rather than anything more serious to worry about, as Newcastle fans immediately though is this a case of once again selling a star player at the daftest of times.
Steve Bruce after the 1-1 draw though insisting: ‘[Allan Saint-Maximin is] Not well, he’s sick. It’s a disappointment, but we hope he’s not going to be out for too long.”
Joelinton – The Brazilian has now missed the last two friendlies but Steve Bruce hopes he can return on Friday at Burton.
Miguel Almiron – The only player yet to return after international commitments this summer. Steve Bruce stating that the Paraguayan ‘will be back at the club at the weekend’, two weeks before the season starts. No clarity from Bruce as to whether Amiron will be injury-free when he returns having picked up a hamstring issue in the Copa America. Regardless of that, difficult to see Almiron getting into a position where he’d be fit enough to start against West Ham in the first game of the season.
Freddie Woodman – With Martin Dubravka recovering from an operation and Karl Darlow just out of hospital and trying to recover from Covid, Bruce has now said that it is ‘quite possible’ that Freddie Woodman will begin the season in goal for Newcastle United. Which would be Woodman’s Premier League debut if selected against West Ham. Steve Bruce adding: ‘He [Freddie Woodman] has been playing for a couple of years at Swansea, and we thought for him to keep on playing – there was a loan move to Bournemouth – but I’ve got to look after the club.’
Yoshinori Muto On his way out? Steve Bruce declaring: ‘There was a possibility of a loan move, but whether that’ll materialise, I’m not so sure because he’s only got a year left with us. We’ll see what happens in the next week or so.’ Recent days had seen claims that Muto was moving to Aris FC in Greece but as we said at the time, difficult to see a club in the Greek league able to match Muto’s NUFC wages AND pay a transfer fee.
Players coming in? Steve Bruce replying: ‘I wish I could say ‘yes’ but we’re still bashing away and I’ll try to continue to do that.’
Newcastle United have 19 days and two friendlies before taking on West Ham, it is difficult to comprehend how pre-season could hold less anticipation and excitement, though I’m sure Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce are capable of lowering those expectations and hopes even further.
Rotherham 1 Newcastle 1
Woodman (Gillespie 46), Hayden (Matty Longstaff 72), Fernandez (Krafth 64), Lascelles (Dummett 46), Clark (Watts 46), Lewis, Ritchie (Schar 64), Sean Longstaff (Jack Young 80), Fraser (Murphy 46), Gayle (Joe White 77), Wilson (Hendrick 72)
4,370 (Incl 1,488 NUFC)
(Rotherham 1 Newcastle 1 – Late Hendrick equaliser doesn’t prevent boos for Steve Bruce – Read HERE)
(Steve Bruce gives damning transfer window update after lucky draw at Rotherham – Read HERE)
Newcastle United pre-season friendlies:
Sunday 18 July – York City 1 Newcastle 0
Sunday 18 July Harrogate Town 2 Newcastle 1 (This was originally a first team fixture with some Under 23 added but it became solely a Under 23 NUFC players after Karl Darlow tested positive for Covid and first team and Under 23s had to be kept apart)
Friday 23 July – Doncaster 2 Newcastle 3
Tuesday 27 July – Rotherham 1 Newcastle 1
Friday 30 July – Burton Albion away (7.45pm)
Saturday 7 August – Norwich home (2pm)
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