Steve Bruce faces Newcastle United transfer conundrum
Bruce doesn’t have space in his 25-man Premier League squad for any more players, so Newcastle United’s head coach must make room in that squad for any new signings.
The obvious candidate to drop from the squad – or sell in the winter window – until late last month was DeAndre Yedlin. The defender, however, ended the year in Bruce’s starting XI – and could start against Leicester City at St James’s Park tomorrow.
Bruce, looking primarily at the loan market, has acknowledged that he must move players out – and make space in his 25-man squad – before the window opens on Monday.
“Absolutely,” said United’s head coach. “You have to name your squad again – but you can only have 25.
"I think the key to it all is if there's something with a bit of quality that can help us, then great. If not, then you're not improving, we're not going to get any better.”
Bruce signed three on loans players last January – Nabil Bentaleb, Danny Rose and Valentino Lazaro – and opted to save his transfer budget for the summer, when Callum Wilson joined from Bournemouth in a £20million deal.
“I'm patient as far as that's concerned, because you do get much more value in the summer, and I'm sure we will have more to pick from, and my job is to keep inching us forward,” said Bruce.
“We're not going to go and bring five or six in overnight, that's not going to happen, so we have to be realistic and responsible, but if there is somebody out there on loan, I'll do my best.
Bruce will try to move out Christian Atsu, Henri Saivet, Achraf Lazaar and Rolando Aarons in this month’s transfer window. The quartet, all in the final year of their contracts, didn’t make Bruce’s 25-man squad.
Aarons’ proposed move to Huddersfield Town in October broke down after paperwork for the deal was filed late.
The Championship club is expected to return for the 25-year-old winger this month.