Steve Bruce’s interesting chat on why NUFC didn’t go for Ollie Watkins

Steve Bruce was asked why he opted to sign Callum Wilson ahead of Ollie Watkins in his post-game Press conference at West Ham.

It was a question that sparked an interesting response from Bruce with Newcastle going for Wilson ahead of Watkins this summer.

Watkins is yet to prove himself at Premier League level and Aston Villa have paid an initial £22million with the fee potentially rising to £33million, meaning Wilson looks like a snip at £20million.

When asked why he turned down players like Watkins – who proved to be a goal machine for Brentford in the Championship – Bruce said: “A lot of forwards?

“I’m not sure there were. Like who?”

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When Watkins was put to Bruce he then said: “Well yeah, look I tried to take Callum from Coventry a few years ago.

“But I have watched his career. There is something about the lad that I enjoy watching.

“He moves well. He is a goalscorer and works tirelessly for the team.

“I am delighted to have got him. More importantly Callum wanted to play for Newcastle and that always helps.

“That was the situation.”

Bruce also has the option of playing Miguel Almiron in attack while £40million Joelinton was restricted to a cameo at the London Stadium.

But Bruce says he simply couldn’t leave a man who cost absolutely nothing out of his starting line-up.

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Bruce added: “The one thing I was able to do was to bring on Almiron and Joelinton.

“We know if Andy stays well – and he deserves to stay well and deserves that break – and if he does stay well a fit Andy Carroll is a threat to any team.

“Especially when teams have a certain physicality like West Ham did.

“So that’s why I wanted to play him up front.

“He did well in pre-season and he deserves his chance at West Ham he would have quite rightly knocked my door down.

“In pre-season, he’s got a couple of goals and has trained every day.

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“He worked tirelessly to get fit.

“He was desperate to play and I always had up my sleeve it was West Ham where he’d want to do well.”

However, Bruce hinted he could be ready to unleash Wilson and Carroll again next weekend when Brighton & Hove Albion arrive on Tyneside.

Bruce said: “We’ve done it once. But I know being a former centre-half I wouldn’t want to play against them (Wilson and Carroll).

“So look it worked fantastically well.

“Let’s hope they both stay well and we have something to look forward to.”


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