Steve Bruce has been enthusiastic about the forward options that he will take into his maiden campaign as Manchester United manager.
Speaking to the Chronicle, Bruce picked out Japanese international Yoshinori Muto for praise after Newcastle’s pre-season schedule.
He said: “Like I’ve always said, since I’ve come into this job – not this Newcastle job, management – you’re only as good as your strikers.
“With Muto, who I’ve been very, very impressed with and Almiron, and Dwight Gayle, we have got a nice balance up there. Let’s hope they can score the goals that every club in the Premier League needs to do.”
Muto might have been expecting his Newcastle career to be over after just one season in which Rafa Benitez, the man who brought him to the north east, barely played him.
He looked out of his depth in the top flight but Bruce seems to be a fan – and he could end up being Newcastle’s go-to backup for record signing Joelinton.
Newcastle’s lack of transfer activity hands a lifeline to any player who wants to work hard for a spot in Bruce’s plans, and the Magpies boss appears to have hinted that Muto’s luck may be about to change.
There are legitimate question marks over whether he can find the back of the net on a regular basis in the English top flight – but Bruce looks keen to hand him that chance.