Having made a £10m move to Newcastle United back in the summer of 2016, expectations were high for the then 25-year-old centre-forward, who was tasked with the goal of firing the Magpies back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
However, despite featuring in all but three of the Magpies’ Premier League outings in 2017/18, Gayle struggled to refind the level of form he had demonstrated in the season prior – bagging just six goals over his 35 league fixtures.
As a result, in the summer of 2018, Newcastle splashed the cash on the likes of Miguel Almiron and Salomon Rondon in a bid to increase their efficiency in front of goal, while Gayle was shipped out on loan to Championship side West Bromwich Albion.
That season, the London born striker once again thrived over his 40 appearances in the second tier, scoring 24 goals and providing eight assists on the way to helping the Baggies seal a top-six finish in the league.
However, after returning to St. James’ Park that summer, Gayle once again failed to establish himself as a regular Premier League goalscorer, finding the back of the net just four times over his 20 league outings in 2019/20.
Since then, the 32-year-old has seen his game time become much more limited, starting just four of his 18 league outings in 2020/21 – over which he scored one goal – and starting none of his four appearances this season.
As such, the fact that Newcastle handed the centre-forward a new three-year deal last summer came as something of a shock to many, however, Newcastle World journalist Liam Kennedy summed up the club’s reasoning quite aptly, stating:
“The reason he signed a new contract is very basic and frustrating for a football fan is that Newcastle didn’t want to go out and spend money on replacing… they basically just held on to what they’ve got rather than going out and spending money.”
However, considering the fact that, over his 254 weeks at the club – not including his 43-week spell at The Hawthorns – the £40k-per-week forward has cost the Magpies over £10m in wages, it is clear the club have still spent a great deal of money on Gayle.
Indeed, adding in his initial £10m transfer fee, the player who has scored just 11 Premier League goals over 77 league outings for Newcastle has set the club back a little over £20m – money that could easily have been spent elsewhere.
As such, while the player who Noel Whelan claimed it was “bewildering” he was given a new deal may have got the Magpies out of the Championship, he has done very little since – leading us to believe Mike Ashley had a shocker on the £1.8m-rated striker.