Dwight Gayle’s future remains unclear but his lack of opportunities this season suggest Newcastle wouldn’t be against moving him on in January if the deal was right.
West Brom, where the striker enjoyed a successful year-long loan spell last term, could be ready to make an approach for him, with another loan move on the cards to make up for the lack of success from summer recruits Charlie Austin and Kenneth Zohore.
So far this year Bruce has relied heavily upon Joelinton, with both Andy Carroll and Yoshinori Muto both being used sparingly, which suggests they too aren’t fancied much by their manager.
With Gayle in a similar scenario, and likely frustrated at only playing five minutes this term, he may well be willing to move on.
His lack of involvement is somewhat of a surprise since he struck 24 times in all competitions last year, and since the team lack someone of his poaching instinct it may be best if they retained his services.
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Our Football FanCast writers discussed whether the club should hang onto him for the rest of the season, here’s what they had to say.
“Steve Bruce would be making a catastrophic error by allowing Dwight Gayle to leave and not giving him a chance this season.
“The tricky little striker may have had his injury troubles, but once he gets past those he should be raring to go. He’s able to provide the sort of threat that no other forward can provide.
“In the last three seasons Gayle has netted 53 goals, which is good going considering he started no more than 34 games in any one campaign. In the last campaign he managed 2.4 shots per game while he was fouled on average 1.5 times a match – not one Magpies player betters the first figure while it is only Miguel Almiron out wide that is felled more often.
“If Bruce thinks he is a good manager, then he should look to get the best out of Gayle instead of selling him on.”
“Newcastle should be ensuring they keep Gayle rather than loaning him out. He scored plenty last season and considering they aren’t exactly free-scoring, it is only a matter of time until he gets a bit more action.
“Steve Bruce has tried to sign Gayle various times throughout his managerial career, so it would be a waste to loan the striker out when the boss finally has him at his disposal.
“Gayle has been unlucky with the calf problem that has plagued his season, as he even had to have a period of complete rest. With that in mind, it is natural that he is being eased back into things very slowly. Bruce will just need to hope that having him back in the team is worth the wait.”
“Dwight Gayle should be given a chance before he’s allowed to leave on loan.
“Newcastle have struggled for goals their strikers as they’ve largely relied on goals from their midfield and defence to get them over the line – as shown by the fact Ciaran Clark and Jonjo Shelvey are the side’s joint-top goalscorers.
“Gayle knows where the net is, he scored 23 goals in the Championship, one in the play-offs last season, and even though the Premier League is a higher standard the art of goalscoring doesn’t really change all that much between the divisions.
“The Magpies would be foolish to ignore a player as talented as Gayle.”
“This is a tricky one, as Gayle would provide something different to the Newcastle attack but at the same time he doesn’t fit in with the style Bruce has implemented, as he is not suited to holding the ball up and bringing others into play.
“While he could act as an impact sub when Newcastle are chasing games, Bruce may think that he can let him go in order to free up funds to bring in an additional striker.
“If fit, the striker at least deserves chances between now and January. That could make or break his Magpies career, but since Bruce has admitted he’s admired Gayle in the past, then it’s possible he’ll persuade his manager against letting him go.”