Some Newcastle fans have been reacting to a report that has claimed Steve Bruce wanted to sign Ross Barkley last summer.
The Chronicle say the Magpies boss was hopeful of landing the attacking midfielder from Chelsea, but was blocked in the end after landing targets Jamal Lewis, Mark Gillespie, Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson.
Barkley was on the fringes at Stamford Bridge, and Frank Lampard ultimately permitted him a loan move to Aston Villa.
The 27-year-old made a vibrant start to life at Villa Park, combining well with the likes of Jack Grealish and Ollie Watkins, but injury has restricted him to just nine appearances so far.
He’s expected back soon having recently returned to training.
Meanwhile at Newcastle, creativity and the scoring of goals has been a big problem once again this season.
The Magpies have scored just 18 goals in their 17 games so far, with Wilson contributing eight of those.
Barkley, who has accrued 33 caps with England, is a player who has the potential to make things happen when he takes up positions between the lines, and he certainly would have been nice to have.
On social media, some fans took a fairly cynical view of the report:
And yet he chose villa, a team that struggled all last season and only just managed to stay in the league 🤔 he must be amazing at pitching his ideas and plans to future possible signings then 🤔🤦🏼♂️
— Adrian (Adi) Langley (@adilangley) January 16, 2021
Barkley did the right thing, even if he was injured the whole season at Villa, his price would still remain higher than if he was with us “managed” by Bruce.
— Angel 💙 (@AngelNUFC) January 16, 2021
No wonder he signed for villa then
— Byernysern (@byernysern) January 16, 2021
Let me guess Barkley didn’t want to play in a back 9 so he declined ???
— Scott Smith (@scotchy89) January 16, 2021
He not fancy playing in a back 9, no?
— Chris Black (@ChrisBlack10) January 16, 2021
He probably didn’t fancy playing RB though
— Bob Clark (@B0bClark) January 17, 2021
I can just imagine the pitch. “Ross come and play for me at #NUFC and I can promise you at least 4 touches of the ball each half, 5 if you take the kick off. Can I count you in ?? “ 🙈🙈🙈🙈 https://t.co/LiZqf78qGf
— Chris (@chris_toon78) January 16, 2021