According to The Chronicle, Steve Bruce has performed a U-turn on the future of Jacob Murphy.
The Magpies boss was believed to be happy to offload the winger according to a report from The Northern Echo, which stated that Bruce wanted the £12 million attacker gone along with Yoshinori Muto, DeAndre Yedlin, Dan Barlaser, Henri Saivet, Rolando Aarons and Achraf Lazaar.
However, Murphy’s stunning display against Morecambe on Wednesday night prompted a U-turn.
The Chronicle quote Bruce as saying: ‘I won’t be letting him out on loan! Not after a performance like that. He deserves to stay with us and he has improved enormously. I have been very, very pleased even though he didn’t make the squad for the weekend.’
While this U-turn is obviously good news for Murphy, it’ll also be music to Jeff Hendrick’s ears.
The summer signing has already made three appearances for the Magpies, but two have come at right-midfield.
Interestingly, The Shields Gazette quote the Irishman as saying: ‘If any manager, wherever I am, needed me to play in a different position, I’d do that no problem but I feel like I can kick on playing in the middle, so hopefully I can.’
Following Bruce’s U-turn on Murphy, a natural right-midfielder, Hendrick could potentially be afforded more opportunities in the middle now the Toon Army boss has taken a liking to the ex-Norwich forward.
The last thing we’d want is to see our new arrival grow frustrated in a position he doesn’t enjoy.
Hopefully, if Murphy can build on his Carabao Cup display and continue to impress Bruce, then we’ll be able to see the ex-Burnley man operate more centrally from now on.
After all, it has been tough to watch him play out there. Admittedly, he has performed well and already has a goal and an assist for us, but his lack of pace means he’s never going to run at full-backs or take anyone on.
It makes sense for Hendrick to play centrally, and now we have another viable wing option, Bruce should fulfil the Irishman’s wishes.