Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce has confirmed that Andy Carroll is closing in on a return to action while speaking at his pre-game press conference via quotes by the Chronicle.
Carroll is yet to play a game for the Magpies (TransferMarkt) since returning to his boyhood side on Deadline Day this summer, when he put pen to paper on a one-season deal thought to be worth a figure in the region of £20k and £25,000-a-week (The Shields Gazette).
The 30-year-old would also be due a substantial bonus should he make an appearance for the St James’ Park natives and, indeed, score, which could come in the North East outfit’s first fixture after the upcoming international break.
Gateshead-born Carroll is in line to make his return to action in Black and White against his former side Liverpool, who Newcastle face at Anfield on September 14, after Bruce confirmed that he should be close to fitness after making solid progress behind the scenes in recent weeks.
“We are hoping that by the international break Andy will be near,” the United head coach stated.
Newcastle will be without fellow striker Dwight Gayle for their trip to Merseyside, however, as the forward, who spent last season on loan with West Bromwich Albion, is not seen to be making any progress in his recovery and is no nearer to making a return.
“Gayle is a concern as he isn’t getting better,” Bruce added. “He is going to see another specialist.”
Having Carroll available for selection will be a relatively significant boost for Bruce, though, as the 30-year-old will be sure to present the Magpies with a different dimension in attack than what the other forwards on offer at St James’ Park currently can.
Carroll is an out-and-out target man that thrives in the air with an average of 8.7 successful aerial duels per ninety minutes to his name dating back to the 2010/11 season (WhoScored).
Joelinton, on the other hand, has been tasked with leading Newcastle’s attack so far this league season, but the Brazilian struggled in the air against Norwich City and Tottenham Hotspur, with the 23-year-old only winning four of his total 19 duels (WhoScored) having won eight of 11 in his Premier League debut against Arsenal.
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