Even when announcing his 25-man-squad which excluded some player’s on big wages, Steve Bruce decided to keep all of them in the fold. Achraf Lazaar, Rolando Aarons, Henri Saivet, Jack Colback, and Jamie Sterry all remained with the first-team even though they were ineligible for the Premier League.
Steve Bruce did this for a specific reason. That was to keep the players fresh and ready for when any loan opportunities came their way. Two of these players have moved on loan with Achraf Lazaar at Cosenza in Italy and Rolando at Wycombe Wanderers in League One.
However, three remain at the club but will still be involved with the squad. Steve Bruce has explained his thinking in keeping these players engaged in first-team activities.
This is what Bruce has said as published in the Shields Gazette:
“The hardest thing for me was to pick the 25. I had only been here three weeks, and people like Jack, I had known a long time. It was very, very difficult. I saw him train, and he trained very, very well.
“We’re disappointed that he didn’t get fixed up. He’s not done anything wrong. It’s just we have to make that call with 22 outfield players, and unfortunately Jack along with Rolando and Ach … they’re not part of it.
“It’s not their fault, so it’s vitally important they’re still part of the squad in terms of training every day, and it’s our responsibility to make sure that they stay fit, healthy, and when the opportunity comes along for them, they’re able to take it.”
Unfortunately, Jack Colback, Henri Saivet, and Jamie Sterry did not get loan moves this summer. That is the situation, and while it is not optimal, it is something that has to be dealt with by the club.
By keeping them involved with the first team, Steve is doing his best to make sure they are ready for any moves when January rolls around. That is about the best he can do under the circumstances. If the players are fit and ready when the window opens, they will have a much better chance of sealing a move then if they weren’t.
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