Newcastle United are targeting players who will thrive in a 3-5-2 formation, according to The Athletic‘s Chris Waugh.
The Magpies are hoping to assemble a squad that will steer them well clear of a relegation battle this season.
They wound up finishing 12th, but as late as 20th March, they were only two points above the drop zone (via BBC Sport).
Mike Ashley has furnished him with limited funds as he attempts to force through the prospective takeover from a Saudi-led consortium.
Newcastle used a back three with wing backs and three central midfielders on 13 occasions last season, but Bruce also deployed his players in 4-4-2 (eight times), 5-4-1 (six times) and 4-3-1-2 (five times).
Waugh reports that Bruce is ‘committed’ to the three-at-the-back shape and that the club’s ‘transfer targets are primed to play in that way’.
However, ‘some sources fear’ that the manager could change systems if Newcastle encounter a ‘tricky patch’, which could hinder their new arrivals.
Which reported targets does the 3-5-2 lend itself to? One that springs to mind is Manchester United’s Axel Tuanzebe, who produced surely the finest performance of his career on the right side of a back three away to Paris Saint-Germain last season. He dealt assuredly with the unique threat of Kylian Mbappe.
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