Steve Bruce has, for the most part, played down any expectations for the January window. Whenever he’s been asked, his stock response has been to highlight that he hasn’t seen his entire squad just yet. His other go-to answer is to say if the right player becomes available, then they would consider a move.
That’s basically been the transfer talk being relayed from the club over the past few months. The same was echoed yesterday by managing director Lee Charnley.
Well, Bruce has spoken about the winter window again, but this time in the Chronicle.
While he’s still holding firm with what he’s said over the past few months, the head coach expanded on the type of player he considers to be optimal for a winter move. He’s pegged a loan move similar to Jetro Willems as something that the club would pursue.
This is what Bruce had to say when asked about the possibility of a loan in January:
“Yes. At Aston Villa, we used that well. It’s a bit different because we are in the Premier League now.
“You only get two domestic loans but I think it’s vitally important that if there is somebody who is available and can improve us, then we will be in a position to act, whether it’s a loan or whatever.
“As I keep saying though, in January everybody gets carried away with transfers. If they are not any better then what we’ve got, then what’s the point.
“And that’s where I have to draw the line. I still haven’t seen some people play yet, Yoshinori Muto hasn’t had a chance, Dwight Gayle hasn’t had a chance or Florian Lejeune too.
“I still haven’t seen what the full squad really is like. I have been delighted with them so far.
“So if there’s somebody can improve us on loan…Jetro Willems for example? If there’s another Jetro out there we’ll act.”
There’s a couple of takeaways from this answer from Bruce. The first is that he really rates Jetro, so hopefully, the club will trigger the clause to make his deal a permanent one.
It is reported to be around £9.3m, so maybe that could be done in January, but we are not sure how that would affect the remaining £20m in the budget.
It looks like the club are on the eye out for some loan moves and most likely domestic ones. Domestic loans make sense because the players are already Premier League tested.
Last season we got Antonio Barreca in from Monaco, but he only played around four minutes under Rafa Benitez. He’s also on loan at Genoa this season where he hasn’t featured much either.
We think a player on loan with a view to a permanent deal could be a decent move this winter. However, only if they are better than what we currently have like Bruce has said.
If we could get in one with the quality of Jetro Willems, then that would be absolutely fantastic.
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