Chris Kirkland has tipped Steve Bruce to lead Newcastle United through a post-takeover era if the £300m deal between Mike Ashley and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) consortium ever came into fruition.
Speaking exclusively to The Transfer Tavern, the former Liverpool and England international goalkeeper, who played under Bruce at Wigan, claimed that one of Bruce’s greatest strengths is that he can recruit players well. Thus, if he was given an opportunity to sign big names post-takeover at St. James’ Park, then he would bring success in the North East.
“The good thing about Steve is he can do it both ways. He can attract players, but when he was at Wigan, he signed Wilson Palacios for £600,000, nobody had ever heard of him, went to Spurs for £15million. Antonio Valencia, signed him for £2million, sold him to Manchester United for £16million. So he can spot gems. Absolute gems for cheap.
“And if he was given the opportunity to get top players in they would love working with him. Without a shadow of doubt, with Newcastle fans when they’re back there, the way the city is, you can see them getting in the top six for me.”
Kirkland also claimed that Bruce would help foreign players settle in should he bring them into the Tyneside club if a takeover goes through:
“He can do that, he knows a gem when he’s got one, and I’d love to see him get money to spend.”
Can Bruce be trusted with recruitment post-takeover?
Indeed, as Kirkland points out, Bruce has shown that he can recruit very well over the years, exemplified by the deals for the likes of Palacios and Valencia.
However, he has not had a lot of experience in bringing in big-money players, his most expensive being the £39.6m spent on signing Joelinton from TSG Hoffenheim in last summer’s window, which has not really worked out given that the 24 year-old has only scored six goals in 54 games in all competitions so far in his Magpies career (Transfermarkt).
Members of the Toon Army would likely expect big-money players to come walking through the door if the takeover were to go through, and Bruce has not proven much in that area.
Is Bruce the right man to manage Newcastle post-takeover?
Indeed, Kirkland clearly believes that Bruce is the right man to lead NUFC through a post-takeover era, as the 39 year-old knows him well given that he played under him for two seasons in what was a very strong Wigan side at the time.
Should Bruce keep the Newcastle job?
Nonetheless, supporters may want to demand a shinier name to hopefully lead them to future glory, and perhaps with a more attacking style of football to boot.
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