Lee Charnley has a chance to lift the pre-season gloom at Newcastle United

Newcastle United’s pre-season ended with a loss this afternoon – as the club attempted to win three transfer battles.

Saturday, 5th September 2020, 4:45 pm
St James's Park.

Stoke City beat Steve Bruce’s side 1-0 at St James’s Park. The media were not allowed to attend the behind-closed-doors game, which followed a 5-1 defeat to Middlesbrough.

The game, which was not live streamed by the club, ended a short, and underwhelming, pre-season campaign for Bruce’s team, who beat Crewe Alexandra and Barnsley last month.

Bruce – who was without 12 players due to injuries, international call-ups and a suspension – will be disappointed with the result ahead of next weekend’s Premier League season-opener against West Ham United.

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It’s been tough going on the field for Bruce’s depleted squad, but the club has seemingly been making progress off the pitch.

Ryan Fraser, a free agent following his summer departure from Bournemouth, arrived in the city yesterday for talks with Bruce over a move to Newcastle, while the club has bid for striker Callum Wilson, the winger’s former Vitality Stadium team-mate. United have also reportedly had a bid for left-back Jamal Lewis accepted by Norwich City.

Reinforcements, certainly, can’t arrive quick enough ahead of the West Ham game.

The club desperately needs a striker, with Dwight Gayle sidelined for around three months.

There’s little discernible optimism among fans ahead of the new campaign, but if managing director Lee Charnley could sign Wilson, Fraser and Lewis in the coming days, their arrivals would, at least, lift some of the gloom on Tyneside.

Callum Wilson.