Mike Ashley granted Steve Bruce the chance to bring pace and power to his attack before being appointed as Newcastle United manager, according to Chronicle journalist Lee Ryder.
The journalist claimed on the Chronicle’s website that Bruce asked for the specific attributes in initial talks in July, after analysing the Magpies squad.
The Chronicle report that the new boss specifically advised both Ashley and Lee Charnley that their attack was missing out on the attributes, especially in wide areas.
The appointment of Bruce didn’t look like one of the most inspiring pieces of business that Newcastle have ever sanctioned, but pass forward to now, and it’s looking a lot more positive in the North East. Ashley appears to have been more open in the last month than he ever was when Rafael Benitez was in charge for the three years beforehand. Bruce evidently researched before taking the job, and the fact is, the Magpies were screaming out for those attributes after losing both Ayoze Perez and Salomon Rondon at the end of the season. The progression through pre-season has been phenomenal and the additions of both Joelinton and Saint-Maximin look to be real smart additions. Joelinton won an average of 2.3 aerial battles as well as attempting two shots in each outing [WhoScored]. Saint-Maximin will deliver the pace, and his dribbling will bring a different dimension to the final third at Newcastle, after completing an average of 4.2 dribbles last season [WhoScored]. Both will no doubt add the required attributes next season, with Bruce still having a number of days to further strengthen his squad.