With Derby v Newcastle on Saturday, it is the first time that Rafa Beitez will (fingers crossed) have major selection dilemmas, of the good sort, especially up front.
In the lead up to the Brighton game it was looking promising, only for the freak bad luck of both Gayle and Mitrovic picking up concussions from the Cheltenham match.
Fair to say that most Newcastle fans were envisaging Mitrovic teaming up with Gayle in that game against Chris Hughton’s men, the Serbian having served his four match suspension.
However, since that Rafa selection against Brighton, fair to say that there have been a few things to give the manager food for thought.
Personally, I see it as a no-brainer that Dwight Gayle has to play, four goals in four Championship games means that he should be first name on the team sheet – but who to play with him?
Whilst Perez struggled as the main striker in that game against the Seagulls, Mohamed Diame appeared to revel in that free role behind the centre forward, rather than playing out wide.
Daryl Murphy has of course also arrived and will be in great spirits after that excellent headed goal for Ireland on Monday night.
Conversely, Aleksandar Mitrovic looked sluggish and struggled in the hour he was on the pitch against Ireland, plus he didn’t show much in the short time he was on the pitch against Cheltenham in that cup match.
Maybe there is also the option of Ayoze Perez to consider, maybe not as the main striker but up front with Gayle, the Spaniard scoring twice against Cheltenham, one of them a real quality finish. Plus, whilst he had little impact against Brighton he did put the workrate in – spending as much time on the ground as he did on his feet against the imposing Brighton centre-backs.
So please vote below on your preferred strike option against Derby County this Saturday.