Steve Bruce gave a depressing update, of sorts, on Newcastle’s plans for the January transfer window during his pre-match press conference today – there aren’t any.
Newcastle fans had been hoping for one or two additions during the mid-season sales, but will now be worried that there could be very little business done on the incoming front.
When asked about his January plans, the Chronicle report Bruce said he has not even spoken about it yet.
He added: “I haven’t seen what I’ve really got just yet.
“We’ll look at January when it comes to it. We will start planning in the next couple of weeks but always January is a difficult, difficult window so we’ll see what’s out there.”
It is sounds less optimistic than his comments during the last international break, when he was stressing the importance of adding extra quality in January, and an acknowledgement that he was going to speak to the scouting team in “due course”.
To be starting to plan for the transfer window in the next couple of weeks, takes us into November, which already leaves a short amount of time to assess the situation, and start to approach clubs and agents over players’ potential availability.
He added that January is always a difficult window, yet other teams manage to strengthen during it.
It smacks of having a pre-loaded excuse ready for when no one comes in, and fans are left in the familiar position of having worries of quality and depth in the squad for the latter half of the season.
Newcastle cannot risk relegation by not signing anyone in January
We simply must bring one or two – at least – in, as standing still while rivals strengthen, is actually taking a step backwards.
Even if it is just a right-winger that arrives, it would plug a gap that was left gaping in the summer window.
It would be unforgivable for the club to see a youngster like Matty Longstaff burst into the first-team picture, and use it as an excuse to not having to strengthen and using the ‘he is like a new signing’ line.
Failure to make any additions in January will likely lead to relegation in May, surely that is a scenario that will scare Mike Ashley into spending?