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Steve Bruce – Newcastle United ‘100%’ keeping Saint-Maximin, (still) speaking to Arsenal about Joe Willock

2 months ago
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Steve Bruce watched on as Newcastle United struggled in their final pre-season friendly against promoted Norwich.

Early chances for the visitors before the first half played itself out without any real threat at either end.

The arrival of Allan Saint-Maximin after the break sparked things off and within 10 minutes Ritchie had forced the ball home.

Dwight Gayle following that up with a confidence boosting double striker to round off a far better second half.

Nevertheless, after the match, Steve Bruce was predictably fielding questions on signings, or rather the lack of them.

On Friday, Bruce told Sky Sports he was ‘quietly confident’ of still bringing in at least two new players before the end of August but added this: ‘What I did say to the supporters, to tell them, look, from the offset…We are in a market where we are looking for players with very little transfer fee, or obviously the loan market.’

Asked today specifically, yet again /as usual, after the Norwich match about Joe Willock, Steve Bruce replied: ‘We’re in dialogue with Arsenal but we have to respect he’s their player. Until we can reach an agreement with Arsenal, and what they want, the rest is immaterial.’

This is what we have constantly heard but especially taking into consideration what he said to Sky Sports yesterday about not having any ability to afford credible buys, when Steve Bruce tries to put the blame / onus on Arsenal about nothing / something happening, it hardly rings true, because exactly what are Newcastle offering other than a loan. Arsenal can easily sell Willock to any number of other clubs, so it makes no sense for them doing a loan now, especially if Newcastle are refusing to pay a sizeable loan fee.

Meanwhile Steve Bruce says 100% Allan Saint-Maximin won’t be leaving. For fans who remember Alan Pardew saying the same about Andy Carroll a decade ago, it is no reassurance, especially when Steve Bruce has no say whatsoever and Mike Ashley can decide to act at any given time.

Steve Bruce speaking after the Norwich 3-0 friendly win, on Freddie Woodman:

“He has put himself in pole position [to start the season] simply because of the problems we’ve got with [Martin] Dubravka and Karl Darlow.

“I thought he did very well and was mature in his performance.”

Allan Saint-Maximin’s future?:

Steve Bruce on Allan Saint-Maximin:

“It is vital we keep him fit and well.

“Absolutely, 100%, I will say we’re keeping him.”

Steve Bruce speaking to BBC Newcastle:

About Joe Willock:

“We’re in dialogue with Arsenal but we have to respect he’s their player.

Until we can reach an agreement with Arsenal, and what they want, the rest is immaterial.”

On whether Newcastle could make signings before next weekend:

“I really, really hope so….

“We’re still hopeful we can get our main target – I’ll try my utmost to make it happen.”

Beating Norwich:

“We were certainly better in the second half.

“Jonjo Shelvey gave us a bit more control of the ball.

“I was delighted with the defending, the goalkeeper looked assured, and everybody who came on to the pitch knew the way we were going to play.”

Final Score: 

Newcastle 3 Norwich 0

Goals:

Newcastle:

Ritchie 55, Gayle 74, 88

Norwich:

Newcastle United:

Woodman, Murphy (Manquillo 80), Krafth (Schar 66), Fernandez (Lascelles 66), Clark (Watts 83), Ritchie (Lewis 66), Hayden (Hendrick 66), S Longstaff (Shelvey 46), Almiron (Fraser 46), Joelinton (Saint-Maximin 46), Wilson (Gayle 66)

Unused Subs:

Gillespie, M Longstaff, Langley

Attendance:

20,139

(Match report – Newcastle 3 Norwich 0 – NUFC improve with ASM to beat relegation rivals in final warm up – 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 0 Newcastle 2

Tuesday 3 August – Burnley 1 Newcastle 0

Saturday 7 August – Newcastle 3 Norwich 0

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