There are reports that Allan Saint-Maximin returned to light training on Monday and he could feature in Sunday’s match at Tottenham.
Though with it being a hamstring problem, Bruce will want to be careful with 22-year-old. He should not risk Allan unless he has completely recovered. The last thing Bruce needs is a long term injury to a forward when we are short on options up front.
Joelinton should also be available after leaving the Norwich match with a hip injury. The scans performed on the hip showed no serious damage.
Allan Saint-Maximin– could be back for Sunday
Steve Bruce had said after the Norwich game that all options would be looked at going forward to bolster Newcastle’s attack. Luke Edwards in the Telegraph noted that Steve may even revert to a flat back four to get the attack going.
Other than the first twenty-five minutes against Arsenal, the Newcastle attack has been impotent, to say the least. Yoshinori Muto even spoke about how he felt isolated when he came on for Joelinton against Norwich.
“It was really hard. I felt isolated, and I was always surrounded by three or four opponents.
“As a forward, that was very tough. As a team, we struggled overall.
“When I was watching in the first half, I was expecting it to be difficult when I came on because Joelinton was struggling as well.”
Miguel Almiron has also struggled to provide enough support to Joelinton often dropping far too deep to be effective when Newcastle regain possession.
If Allan Saint-Maximin can make the trip to Tottenham, he will provide much-needed firepower for Newcastle. Maybe using him in a front three similar to how Benitez had the team set up would help create space in the final third.
That would require the removal of one of the three central midfielders. If that happens, Bruce may want to consider using Sean Longstaff and Isaac Hayden similarly to their string of games together last year.
However, that would be hard lines on Jonjo Shelvey who has played decently in the first two games. However, Jonjo’s lack of defensive application often leaves Newcastle vulnerable in the midfield.
Whatever Steve Bruce decides to do at Tottenham, the most critical change we need to see is in the performance. There won’t be many Newcastle fans expecting a win. However, an improved performance is going to be the minimum requirement.