Newcastle have largely defied the odds to find themselves mid-table, but regardless of league position, they must not rest on their laurels, and look to improve the squad in January.
Bruce has insisted he is ready to move for the right players if they become available, but often you have to put your hook in the water to catch the fish.
It would be a surprise if Newcastle can maintain their elevated position throughout the remainder of the season if they stand still and sign no one – so they must pull out all the stops to improve in areas that need it.
There are some glaring positions in need of quality, and with Allan Saint-Maximin again out with a muscle injury, the need for a winger looks to have increased. A goal-scorer would be a welcome addition, and with Ki rumoured to want to leave, another midfielder should also be sought.
Here are the three players we think Newcastle must go all out to sign in January.
Jarrod Bowen (Hull City)
No surprise with this one, as Bowen has been linked with Newcastle for a long time, and he has always seemed destined to end up at St James’ Park when he leaves Hull.
He has been superb over the past 18 months for the Humberside club, and is clearly outgrowing both the club and the division.
He had a spectacular campaign in 2018/2019, scoring 22 goals from 46 league games, and yet – remarkably – looks set to eclipse that this season, with him currently bagging 15 Championship goals from just 21 games.
Certainly ready for the Premier League, Bowen would likely be the signing the vast majority of Toon fans would prioritise above all others.
Alfredo Morelos (Rangers)
Newcastle lack goals up front, and signing the Colombian would almost certainly solve that problem, with him being prolific for Steven Gerrard’s side in both the SPFL and Europa League.
Like Bowen, he has been a goal machine for the Ibrox club, and although there have been a lot of noises about the Glasgow side not selling him in January, a big bid could change the whole picture.
The player has hinted at wanting to move south to the Premier League, and if Newcastle interest – we were previously linked with a move – was made known to him, he would surely be pushing for the switch.
Morelos has scored a breath-taking 26 goals from 32 games across all competitions, which comes on top of last season’s tally of 30 from 48. Those are stats that Newcastle – and likely other Premier League clubs – simply cannot afford to ignore.
Ibrahima Sissoko (Strasbourg)
Sissoko was a name linked with a move to Newcastle in October, with the Sun claiming a deal of around £13 million was close to being agreed.
In response, his representatives were reportedly intrigued at the possibility of a move to Tyneside, although they did say they had not directly spoken to Newcastle.
A combative, tall player, Sissoko also has quick feet, and an eye for picking out a telling pass. He is a midfielder in the mould of Patrick Vieira, and at just 22, could yet emulate the French maestro.
He looks a fantastic prospect, and just the type of player Newcastle need in their squad.