Steve Bruce has stressed that the current Newcastle United squad is no weaker than the group that finished last season strong – even if the Magpies boss would like to make more signings in the final week of the window.
Newcastle They only made one addition so far this summer after whites and blacks were able to sign Joe Willock on a permanent basis from Arsenal After an impressive midfielder loan spell to the club last season.
In Bruce’s own words, Newcastle “break all the rules” to make the £20m deal happen earlier this month, so the club is unlikely to make any more permanent signings this summer.
Although Newcastle managed to keep the group together that finished last season in 12th place, Magpies have not bolstered their squad at a time when Crystal Palace, Brentford, Leeds and others have made several additions.
In an ideal world, Bruce would like to bring an athletic center back and a mid-park enforcer, but regardless, the 60-year-old doesn’t feel that his team is worse off — even if Andy Carroll is struggling with it. He was not replaced after the striker was released at the end of his contract.
“I don’t know how to weaken,” he told reporters. “It’s the same thing, isn’t it, how could he be weaker? I don’t think we’re any weaker.
“It’s fair to say we went with the same team, close enough, like we finished last year. We finished strong.
“We’ve all gone out to get Joe Willock, so that’s the way we are at the moment. We’d like to do more but, obviously, as it is, we simply can’t.
“We have to go ahead and hopefully be strong enough to go and the best we did last year.”
Bruce will present his final 25-man squad in the Premier League next week, and the Newcastle boss is still ‘toying with’ the idea of including four goalkeepers because Martin Dubravka and Karl Darlow are still a long way from returning to play.
It looks like Dubravka will be out until October after postoperative complications after undergoing surgery on his foot while Darlow will need time to get back up to speed after the COVID battle.
If Bruce names the duo in his squad, along with fellow shooters Freddy Woodman and Mark Gillespie, the Magpies boss will have to let a senior player go to make way for a new loan signing and that could be a huge demand in the last days of the window.
It was a landmark for the buyer this summer, and Newcastle were only able to raise funds for one first-team player this summer at Florian Legon, who joined Alaves after a successful loan spell at the Spanish club last season.
“Most people have to trade and I couldn’t trade because we couldn’t sell,” Bruce added. “No one wants to sell their best players but we all want to be in a position to trade. That’s normal.
“We weren’t in this position to do that. The championship is practically on its knees so there is no movement in that and in fact, the only league you can sell in my opinion at the moment is the Premier League.
“Not much is happening in Spain, there is not much that is happening in France and there is very little money in Italy. We could not trade the way I would like. Sure, I would have listened to some shows but they didn’t. He was not coming.”
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