Steve Bruce reacts to calls for another striker at Newcastle United following Andy Carroll's departure

Steve Bruce has addressed Newcastle United’s striking options – after letting Andy Carroll go.
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However, Bruce believes he has enough cover up front with Allan Saint-Maximin, Joelinton, Miguel Almiron and Dwight Gayle able to play up front along with No.9 Callum Wilson, signed from Bournemouth last summer in a £20million deal.

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Wilson and Gayle were fielded up front in last night's 1-1 draw against Rotherham United. Midfielder Jeff Hendrick scored a late headed equaliser for United, backed by almost 1,500 supporters at the AESSEAL New York Stadium, after being pushed up front by Bruce.

Asked if he had enough cover up front following Carroll’s departure, United’s head coach said: "We’ve got Allan, Joe, Almiron. We’ve got Dwight. We’ve got five. How many do you have in a squad of 22 outfield players?

"I’ve probably got to look at picking four goalkeepers in the squad, which is a little bit unheard of, but with the problems I’ve got there, that’s in the back of my mind at the minute.

"The midfield area is a must, in my opinion. We’ll look to try and strengthen there first. When everybody’s right, then I think we’ve got adequate cover up there.”

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Midfielder Joe Willock – who spent the second half of last season on loan at Newcastle from Arsenal – is the club’s primary summer transfer target.

Joe Willock.Joe Willock.
Joe Willock.

However, United can’t wait too much longer for a decision, according to Bruce, who’s also looking at “other options”.

"I've said many times now, (he’s) Arsenal's player, Joe to decide,” said Bruce. "But there has to be a cut-off point where we can't wait forever.

"We’ve one or two other options, of course, which would be wrong if I didn't. Obviously, Joe’s our first choice. We’re encouraged to keep bashing away, but there comes a cut-off point, yeah.”

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Willock was yesterday linked with a move to Monaco. The 21-year-old scored eight Premier League goals for Newcastle last season.

Asked if United had made any progress in the transfer market, Bruce told BBC Radio Newcastle: “I wish I could say ‘yes’ – but, we’re still bashing away, and I’ll try to continue to do that.”

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