In the end, the former Sheffield Wednesday boss made the choice to leave out five players, with Jack Colback, Rolando Aarons, Henri Saivet, Jamie Sterry, and Achraf Lazaar all missing out.
The five names mentioned managed little, if any, impact on Rafael Benitez when the Spaniard was in charge of the Magpies, and now look set to leave St James’ Park.
Bruce described the decision to leave players such as Colback and Aarons out as “horrible,” but must not feel too sorry as the players he left out were never going to make much of a difference on his squad.
The midfield is an area that Bruce will have been happy with when arriving in the North East, with the likes of Sean Longstaff, Jonjo Shelvey, and Isaac Hayden ready to be utilised. The arrival of Allan Saint-Maximin, an exciting winger, surely all but closed the door on Aaron’s future.
Colback did average 3.2 tackles per game last season but also got dribbled past on many occasions, a stat which is brought to light when you consider the fact the midfielder received 15 yellow cards [Source: WhoScored].
Aarons also failed to make an impact on Bruce, despite the winger spending the second half of the season with the Magpies’ boss at Sheffield Wednesday in the last campaign.