Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce has claimed that he hasn’t ‘really seen’ three Magpies stars play since he joined the club.
The Toon boss made a point to name-check defender Florian Lejeune and attackers Dwight Gayle and Yoshinori Muto as he talked about the January transfer window.
“If you’re not any better than what you’ve got, then what’s the point?,” he told The Chronicle. “I’ve been delighted with the squad so far. I still haven’t seen some of them.
“I haven’t seen Dwight Gayle, really. I haven’t seen Muto really playing for me. I haven’t seen Lejeune play for me. There’s a few that I still haven’t seen play and that’s where you need time.”
Bruce is right that there’s no point signing players in January if they aren’t any better than what he already has at the club. However, there will be good players out there who could improve this Newcastle team, without a doubt. He’s also correct that he hasn’t really seen these three play so far this season. Lejeune is yet to feature as he’s continued his recovery from the major injury he suffered in April, while Gayle has played just just 43 minutes of action thus far this campaign [Source: Transfermarkt]. Then there’s Muto, who has got a marginally better tally of 191 minutes [Source: Transfermarkt]. However, given that both Gayle and Muto have been fit for a while now, perhaps Bruce could well find something better than them in January. Neither man has been able to shift the ineffective Joelinton from the starting line-up, so the boss can’t like them that much then? So why not go out and get some better quality in the final third next month? Easier said than done, of course, but it’s certainly do-able.