The newspaper claim on their website that the Magpies’ boss wants his wide defenders to be able to bomb up and down the flanks next season, in a way to freshen up their tactics after relying on Salomon Rondon’s physicality last season.
Former boss Rafael Benitez played a five-at-the-back formation at St James’ Park, with Bruce suggested to ready to utilise wing-backs next season.
There is no hiding the fact that Newcastle have set a specific target in the past year or so. The arrival of Miguel Almiron has been added to by Brazilian Joelinton – and Bruce is slowly starting to cement his squad for the upcoming season. With less than one week remaining in the window, Newcastle must be more specific than just looking for quick players though, with certain reinforcements surely more necessary. There must be more of a strategy in Newcastle’s potential incomings – pace isn’t the be-all and end-all in football and Bruce could come unstuck in his tactics. It is a good trait to hold as a wing-back, and if Willems can push forward and provide goalscoring opportunities, then Bruce could surely be on to a winner. Having said that, DeAndre Yedlin also possesses electrifying pace but struggled to make much of an impact going forward, only delivering a couple of assists last season. This could be the biggest hint that Bruce is set to deploy a five-at-the-back formation next season and potentially build on what Benitez has left behind.