Darren Bent urges Aston Villa to make a move for Dwight Gayle

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…

Former footballer Darren Bent has told Football Insider that he thinks Aston Villa should consider buying Dwight Gayle this summer.

What’s he said?

Aston Villa have already been incredibly busy in the summer market and have added no fewer than five players to their ever-expanding squad.

The latest acquisition to arrive through the doors of Villa Park was Matt Targett, whilst their most expensive outlay so far has been on Brazilian striker Wesley Moraes from Club Brugge.

The forward arrived for a fee of £22m and was among those to begin training at Bodymoor Heath this week as the players returned for pre-season.

Yet, former Villans man Bent, reckons they should make a key call over another striker. When questioned by Football Insider what that would be, he revealed the following:

“You know who I’d go for actually? Dwight Gayle, because I just think to myself whenever he gets a run in any team he’s played in, in any division, he scores goals but for whatever reason he gets in the Premier League, he might play five games, score three or four goals and then the manager will take him out and he won’t play again for a while.”

Gayle in the goals

The Newcastle man enjoyed a terrific season on loan at Villa’s Midlands rivals West Brom last term, firing in 24 goals as the Baggies reached the play-offs.

His temporary club were, of course, defeated in the play-offs by Dean Smith’s men but Bent appears to back him to move back to the Midlands and feature for Villa.

In truth, Gayle has been a poor Premier League striker when afforded the chance, scoring just 21 goals in 99 appearances. In comparison, he’s scored 59 times in exactly 100 Championship outings.

Despite that, Bent is right to suggest that with a run of games he could flourish in the division. In previous Premier League campaigns he’s played in, the 28-year-old hasn’t really been able to start as many games as he’s been used to in the second tier.

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Last season, he started 34 times. However, the highest number of occasions in which he’s started in the Premier League is only 23. At Crystal Palace, meanwhile, he started on double figures over the course of a season just once in the top-flight.

On that evidence, he hasn’t really had a fair shot, but if he was given that chance under Smith after the season he’s just had, there is a reason to believe he could find form.

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