Now that the transfer season is underway and we know the club is not going to be backed by Saudi wealth, the targets are all likely going to have to be bargains.
Bruce’s budget is said to be around the £30m mark plus anything from outgoings, which barring a shocking sale of a top player isn’t likely to amount to much.
We’d expect the bulk of any outlay to be for a few attackers. The club managed just six Premier League goals from their quartet of strikers with two of them, Andy Carroll and Yoshinori Muto, firing blanks.
Muto should probably be sold as he made just 10 appearances all season and only played 6 minutes after the restart. Bruce also hinted that Joelinton may find himself ‘playing to a side’ more often next season.
So there should be squad places for a couple of strikers to be brought in who are hopefully, improvements on Dwight Gayle and Andy Carroll.
Carroll, when fit, can do a job as a physical presence but he won’t be relied upon for big minutes. Gayle reignited his Newcastle career during the final stretch of the season with four goals.
The 29-year-old also had a torrid time with injuries this past season. He has just one year left on his contract so if a decent offer comes in, say £8-10m, it may be tempting to offload the striker.
However, that can only happen if an upgrade is brought in first. Newcastle have no room to mess around with this summer so they can’t be caught short again upfront when the window closes.
The need for goals is similar to last season when we lost Salomon Rondon and Ayoze Perez, our top two goal scorers. But this time due to COVID 19, there will be half the budget available. Though we splurged much of last season’s cash on Joelinton, who wasn’t ever able to get going as a number nine.
Who exactly will fit the bill this time around on such a limited budget is a mystery. It’s going to be a tough task to get quality strikers in but it has to be the top priority heading into this coming season.