With all the injuries suffered early in this campaign, Steve Bruce has yet to have a full squad available for selection. Just when it was looking brighter with Matt Ritchie, and Florian Lejeune get close to a return, Fabian Schar and Andy Carroll went down with slight injuries.
While Bruce’s options have been limited, he has recently had the opportunity to work with everyone in training.
However, despite this Steve Bruce keeps using the injury situation to push off talk of any January transfer targets.
Last week during his press conference before the Chelsea match, Bruce said the following about discussions with head scout Steve Nickson on the winter transfer window:
“I haven’t really spoken about the January window yet as I haven’t seen all of what I’ve got here quite yet.
“Always January is a difficult, difficult window, but we’ll start planning for it in the next couple of weeks”
The January window was always going to be about bringing in a player who can put the ball into the back of the net or possibly a midfielder who can get forward.
We seem pretty settled in defense unless we end up selling a defender.
While we understand that Dwight Gayle has just returned and Andy Carroll has not been able to start yet, Bruce has to have some inkling of what they can provide.
Neither are going to suddenly become prolific Premier League goal scorers. Both have enough of a track record for a rough determination of what they can provide.
While they can chip in with some goals, their contributions are unlikely to be the answer to Newcastle’s goal drought.
Allan Saint-Maximin– been fantastic the past few weeks
We suppose Steve Bruce could also be referencing his front three of Joelinton, Allan Saint-Maximin, and Miguel Almiron when declaring that he doesn’t know what he has yet.
They are all relatively new to the league and have yet to fulfill the immense promise which their talents hint.
That is especially the case with Allan Saint-Maximin, who has only recently been able to shine due to an early-season hamstring issue.
Bruce gave an interview on Saturday with Sky Sports in which he reiterated his comments from last week when asked about the coming transfer window:
“I never really had that discussion quite yet. I think it’s vitally important that we get over the start and analyze the squad.
“I’ve only been here for two or three months, and the most difficult one is analyzing everybody concerned. I hadn’t seen a couple of them play up until last week.
“Allan Saint-Maximin, for example, has only played the last couple of games. Yedlin, Dwight Gayle – people like that, I hadn’t seen play up until a couple of weeks ago.
“If we can improve, the club will always try to improve, but as for conversations about January, I’ve just got on with my job at the moment, which is to try and make a fist of this difficult start we’ve obviously had.”
While this again seems a bit like a dodge by Bruce, there is still two and a half months and 11 games left until the window opens. So a lot can change until then.
We definitely think additions will be needed. However, who and how many, is going to depend on what happens in the next eleven games.
This article was originally posted here