What to expect at Newcastle United on transfer deadline day

It’s said where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 6:00 am
Steve Bruce.

But there doesn’t seem to be a will on the part of owner Mike Ashley to commit the money needed to add to Newcastle United’s squad before tonight’s transfer deadline despite a worrying winless start to the season.

Steve Bruce’s squad needed strengthening this summer. But, as it stands, it’s weaker than it was last season following the exits of Andy Carroll, Christian Atsu and others following the expiry of their contracts, and the departure of Matty Longstaff on loan. Bruce could even name four goalkeepers in his 25-man Premier League squad.

Newcastle re-signed Joe Willock, but his return hasn’t strengthened the squad given that he was at the club on loan in the second half of last season.

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Bruce, looking at loans, has candidly admitted that there isn’t any money left to spend following the signing of Willock, whose fee will be paid in instalments.

Fans accept that the coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on the club’s finances, but they can’t accept what they see as more neglect from Ashley, who has presided over two relegations since buying the club in 2007.

Bruce guided the club to a 12th-placed finish in the Premier League last season, but that finishing position doesn’t tell the whole story.

The club was seemingly heading for a third Ashley-era relegation in March.

Willock was a key figure as the club pulled away from trouble, but the rest of the league has since strengthened, and unless Bruce can somehow add another loanee in the final hours of the window, the squad will be weaker than it was last season.

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