Many Newcastle United fans have been discussing Steve Bruce’s options to fill the void set to be left by Allan Saint-Maximin at Burnley on Saturday, following the Frenchman’s confirmed hamstring injury.
Bruce was forced to bring the 22-year-old off six minutes into stoppage-time during our 2-1 comeback win at home to Southampton last weekend, with Saint-Maximin later needing crutches as he left St. James’ Park.
The blow is expected to leave the forward out of action over the festive period, including our Premier League matches against Manchester United and Leicester City, plus the FA Cup Third Round encounter with either Rochdale or Boston United on January 4.
Saint-Maximin had begun to hit his stride in the English top-flight following his £20million summer move prior to the blow, having struck his first Magpies goal in the away win at Sheffield United and first assist against AFC Bournemouth.
Bruce will now be deliberating with his coaching staff over how he will cover the key loss, and fans have suggested multiple ways that the boss can change his tactics for Saturday’s trip to Burnley.
Christian Atsu is one option who could return to the starting line-up in place of Saint-Maximin, having last opened a league game away to Leicester in September.
How should Bruce cover for Saint-Maximin's absence v Burnley?
Start Atsu in direct swap
Bruce may also decide to switch Miguel Almiron over from the right-flank to the left-wing, perhaps to make way for someone like Atsu to start, or rotate the side’s formation and give the full-backs a greater responsibility to push forward.
Here are some of the messages shared…
Not really a big question as there’s not many options. I’d personally move almiron to the left and put atsu in
— DaveC1992 (@DaveC1992) December 12, 2019
Formation switch to get Gayle in the team
— mark mcguffie (@mark_mcguffie) December 12, 2019
Either straight swap for atsu, or I can see him bringing Longstaff in and pushing Hayden further forward like he done Sunday
— Rae Crosland (@Rae_C) December 12, 2019
— PL 🇬🇧 (@paulzim4) December 12, 2019
Longstaff played well when he came off bench, id play 532 with almiron behind Carroll or joelinton
— Rohan Gulliver (@gulliver_rohan) December 12, 2019
I would like to see a change to a 3 man midfield with Carroll up against the back line and Almirion in the free role behind him. Midfield 3 of Jonjo, Hayden and S.Longstaff.
— James Starkey (@JamesSt74705778) December 12, 2019
All them options 😂
— Aaron (@AaronBates91) December 13, 2019
— Mr Henry 🇩🇲 (@HENRYD8TH) December 12, 2019
Is Solano available?
— David Burdis (@mintydave01) December 12, 2019
In other Newcastle United news, a manager has addressed the recent speculation linking his 6-goal striker with a move to St. James’ Park.