Steve Bruce has started to win over the Newcastle faithful during the last couple of months, picking up important wins recently.
Who should start for Newcastle, Joelinton or Andy Carroll?
He could soon turn his attention to the transfer window when it opens in January, where the work really starts.
He needs to swindle some cash from Mike Ashley to bolster his squad so it can achieve safety without giving the fans a heart attack from relegation worry. They need to strengthen in two key positions and both of those are at the top end of the field.
Buy a fit, Premier League-proven striker
Prior to this weekend’s fixtures, Newcastle’s top scorer this Premier League season was Jonjo Shelvey on five goals, and he’s followed by the likes of defender Ciaran Clark and left-back Jetro Willems on two (stats via BBC). Injury-hit strikers Andy Carroll and Dwight Gayle have been unable to score in Newcastle’s first 17 games this campaign, so the club’s goal tally is relegation form.
They can’t be relying on Shelvey to provide point-winning goals like he has done against Manchester City and Sheffield United. It’s time Mike Ashley dug deep into his pockets and backed his manager with some cash to buy a proven Premier League goal scorer with a clean injury record.
Invest in a long-term wide option
Allan Saint-Maximin has looked exciting at times this season, taking the fourth most shots per game on average in the squad, 1.5, before this weekend’s fixtures (via WhoScored). However, with an injury now expected to keep him on the sidelines for a month, Steve Bruce is short of wide options.
With his strikers not contributing to the goal tally, it’s down to forwards like Saint-Maximin to make up for their short-comings. Even he hasn’t been able to do that, though, scoring just once, so bringing in another winger for the long-term would be a sensible option. It could turn out to be just as important as buying an out-and-out striker.
To ensure the Magpies aren’t dragged into a relegation battle, they need to start scoring more goals. To do that, they need a fit, Premier league-proven striker and a wide-men who can provide assists and contribute to the goal tally too. Wishful thinking? We’ll see.
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