Pundit Danny Murphy believes that Newcastle United need three new defenders to prevent the richest club in the world being relegated from the Premier League.
Given all the hysteria ahead of today’s clash against Tottenham Hotspur, the first match since the takeover was completed, the Magpies find themselves winless and 19th in the table.
A win against Nuno Espirtio Santo’s side would take Newcastle out of the relegation zone and create a deafening cauldron of noise around St James’ Park.
Bruce will be in charge against Spurs, which will be his 1,000th game as a manager, something that seemed inconceivable when the takeover went through.
Murphy believes that the club’s priority to stave off an unthinkable relegation whoever is in charge has to be becoming ‘damned hard to beat for the rest of the season’.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Murphy said: “I’d say Newcastle require four new signings in the next window to guarantee safety. And three of those need to make them defensively better – with one additional glamour name to share the scoring burden with Callum Wilson.”
The former England midfielder felt that Burnley’s James Tarkowski, a ‘proven defensive leader’ and out of contract in the summer, would be a viable option in January to assist a ‘woeful defence’.
Murphy added: “I’ve watched a lot of Newcastle this season and, while they have made more chances, they have been woeful defensively.
“If I was manager, I’d want to sign a centre half, holding midfielder and full-back to make the team tough to break down.”
Once the defensive issues are resolved, Murphy believes that is when the club can start looking at more adventurous names.
Murphy continued: “Once that [defence] is delivered, you’d add a goalscorer at the other end of the pitch where Wilson misses too many games.
“They have creators like Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron but not players who can convert the chances.”
No side has conceded more Premier League goals than Newcastle (16) and defensive reinforcements are urgently needed.
Once Newcastle have a solid defensive unit that is when the glitz and glamour signings the fans dream about can be added to the team.
But like Murphy said, Newcastle have to do things properly and learn how to walk before we try running to the top of the footballing mountain.