'The one to watch is...' - Newcastle United transfer verdict as deadline day rapidly approaches
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Here, our writer Jordan Cronin answers the key transfer questions with deadline day just around the corner:
Will Steve Bruce add to his Newcastle United before the transfer deadline?
JC: “Steve Bruce has ruled out permament arrivals.
"Bruce was handed a tight transfer budget at the beginning of the summer, so it’s a somewhat miracle that he’s been able to bring in Joe Willock for £25m.
"It’s great Willock has returned and I don’t think Bruce or many supporters would have had it any other way. That said, it has drained the budget.
"Bruce would love to sign a central defender and the good news United have two domestic loan slots available. The bad news, it’d mean leaving someone out of his 25-man Premier League squad, which he doesn’t seem too keen to do.
"He’ll only strengthen if a player that can improve the team becomes available. Loans can indeed provide that spark – see Willock – but it must be the right player.
"Don’t be surprised when new names pop up towards the deadline, especially when agents are busy touting their clients about.”
Will we see any outgoings at Newcastle United before the transfer deadline?
JC: “The one to watch is the two Longstaff brothers Matty and Sean.
“It’s been widely reported that Matty is attracting plenty of Championship interest – including Blackburn, Huddersfield, Sheffield United and Blackpool – but Newcastle want him to sign a contract extension before sanctioning a move.
“Understandably, for United, they want to protect their asset as he enters the final year of his contract. But from the player’s point of view, you question why he’d want to after making just five Premier League appearances last term – his last being in January.
"Meanwhile, Sean is being monitored by Rafa Benitez at Everton, the man who handed him his senior debut and got him drawing comparisons to Michael Carrick.
"Longstaff, after his knee injury, has been a shadow of the player he was in his breakthrough season and reuniting with Benitez could help restore his once-promising career.
“I’d be gutting to see two local boyhood fans leave but at the moment, it isn’t working out for them at St James’s Park.
"Ultimately, Bruce wanted to offload a number of fringe players but cited the finanical struggles after Covid-19 as a major factor.”
What have you made of Newcastle United’s summer transfer business so far?
JC: “Willock is the biggest signing Newcastle, in its current state, could have made this summer.
"His return was imperative because he adds so much to that midfield. Taking his energy, desire and goals out that there was a real worry.
“He undoubtedly makes Bruce’s team stronger but let’s not get away from the fact this has been another disappointing summer in the Mike Ashley era.
"Realistically, Newcastle needed Willock, a central defender and striker. Yes, they may still end up signing a defender on loan but it’s nothing inspiring. especially when you see the club missing out on players to Brentford.
"The club, again, is just doing enough to survive, but even that’s not guaranteed after a poor start to the Premier League season.”