Here our writer Liam Kennedy takes a look at the United squad and the decisions available to Steve Bruce as he looks to improve his lot when trading reopens in the Premier League.
Newcastle United’s current 25-man Premier League squad
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Martin Dúbravka, Ciaran Clark, Paul Dummett, Fabian Schär, Jamaal Lascelles, Andy Carroll, Jonjo Shelvey, Joelinton, Allan Saint-Maximin, Matt Ritchie, Dwight Gayle, Callum Wilson, Isaac Hayden, Jamal Lewis, Jeff Hendrick, Emil Krafth, Federico Fernández, Javier Manquillo, Ryan Fraser, DeAndre Yedlin, Jacob Murphy, Miguel Almirón, Karl Darlow, Mark Gillespie, Sean Longstaff.
Where does Steve Bruce need to strengthen?
Without Callum Wilson Newcastle United are lacking any kind of goal threat. Dwight Gayle will, of course, improve that when he returns to fitness – but for how long can his fitness be guaranteed?
For that reason Bruce must be looking at a loan striker to complement what he already has.
Elsewhere United’s midfield has been shown it is lacking in any dynamism. This is surely something the manager will look to address.
Players at risk
DeAndre Yedlin is the clear and obvious contender to be chopped from the United 25.
Bruce made it clear to the player he was surplus to requirements on Tyneside, but with no move materialising the USA international chose to see out the final year of his deal. This stance may change in a month, with gametime almost non-existent for the former Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland full-back.
Question marks must be raised also about the long-term fitness of Paul Dummett. The player has been absent for much of 2020 and no return date has yet been set for the defender. Were Willems to sign, it would further question Dummett’s place within the squad.
Elsewhere the likes of Emil Krafth, whose gametime has also been limited, may be made available. Jacob Murphy is also likely to acquire admiring glances from the Championship and beyond, but it looks like Bruce is keen to hang on to the player.