Steve Bruce has suggested that Newcastle have already begun the process of scouting potential targets ahead of the January transfer window, but he also revealed that scouts not being able to view targets live is an issue.
The Magpies invested around £35M in the squad over the summer, and it is thought that Mike Ashley will make funds available for Bruce again in January irrespective of what happens surrounding the takeover saga, per Chronicle Live. That assurance comes after Newcastle opted not to invest in the squad during last season’s winter window.
Scouting challenges for Newcastle revealed
It has been reported that Newcastle have been preparing to operate ‘business as usual’ behind the scenes in January, with the likes of Ashley, Bruce and head of recruitment Steve Nickson drawing up plans for potential targets, per Chronicle Live. However, those plans would be subject to change were any developments over the takeover to emerge.
In the absence of any such developments, Newcastle will continue to identify and scout the targets that Bruce is seeking in January. In the summer the Magpies boss was insistent on ensuring that players brought in would arrive with prior Premier League experience, in order to avoid having to wait for players to settle into English football, per Chronicle Live. He may opt for the same approach this coming window.
Speaking in his press conference ahead of Newcastle’s meeting with Everton, Bruce revealed that the lack of access scouts have into grounds at the moment makes signing players more challenging. He also admitted signing players without having viewed them is not something he wants to do.
He said: “The scouting team have set themselves up at St James’ Park. They’re there for three days a week.
“The difficulty is, of course, it’s never quite the same so it’s very difficult just to watch a video and I think I’ve seen something like 10, 12 games this week. We’ve got to be careful we don’t over saturate that but that’s a different story.
“On the scouting ones, they are doing a lot by video and a lot with the technology we’ve got where we can watch any game in the world.
“The technology today is quite remarkable but it’s not quite the same as seeing people live so we’re identifying the targets that we would look at and hopefully get the chance to see them live because buying someone without seeing them live is certainly not my cup of tea and it’s certainly not Steve Nickson’s, either.”
Steve Bruce might have take transfer gambles to strengthen his squad
Newcastle were looking to add further to their squad before the summer window closed, but they missed out on both Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley. The need to add more bodies in midfield has only been heightened by the recent hernia injury for Jonjo Shelvey, while there are also other areas of the squad which need addressing during the winter window.
Whilst the current situation of scouts not being able to view players firsthand is challenging, the Magpies could negate that somewhat by looking for readymade Premier League players as they had done in the summer. That would enable the Magpies to have more faith in the players being signed, but what they cannot do is use it as an excuse not to add to their squad at all.
In other news, find out what this club’s stance is over a £23m-rated rising star is amid Newcastle’s interested here.
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