Newcastle United are in the midst of a striker crisis.
With Callum Wilson out of action for the next two months, Steve Bruce has a major problem.
The Magpies have relied on Wilson for goals, with the summer signing scoring 40% of Newcastle’s entire total this season.
So far we’ve played one game without Wilson, and it was toothless attacking performance.
Dwight Gayle got the nod up top, but was fairly anonymous up until his 64th minute substition.
It’s unclear who will start against Manchester United on Sunday, but perhaps their last game could provide some hope.
Could Andy Carroll replicate Mbaye Diagne?
The Red Devils were held to a 1-1 draw away to West Brom. While that result dragged Sam Allardyce’s side closer to us, it should give Steve Bruce food for thought.
West Brom were set up to frustrate Man United and hit them on the break, and that’s exactly what they did.
Mbaye Diagne was the lone striker for West Brom, but he was a real handful. He was strong and powerful with his back to goal.
He got West Brom up the pitch in the second half, and arguably could have won it for the Baggies.
Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof struggled to cope with the 29-year-old, who put West Brom in front after just two minutes.
Perhaps this could lead to Andy Carroll getting a chance on Sunday.
Carroll can be just as big a handful as Diagne was.
If he can win flick ons and hold the ball up, Newcastle will be able to relieve the pressure Manchester United will undoubtedly put us under.
While I don’t want to see us just hoofing it up the pitch, sometimes it is a means to an end. We aren’t made to play it out from the back, particularly with Fabian Schar injured.
Long balls up to Dwight Gayle are futile. But it’s where Carroll thrives. Maybe even Joelinton could get some joy.
Whoever Bruce chooses, he must take note of Diagne’s dominating performance against Manchester United last time out.
We’ve got the players capable of replicating him, and it might be our best chance of causing Manchester United problems.