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.

Wednesday, 28th July 2021, 12:00 pm

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.

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.

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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.”

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.

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.”

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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