The 3 ‘key Newcastle players’ Bristol City are wary of
Three Newcastle players have been picked out above the rest ahead of the trip to Ashton Gate.
The official Bristol City website naming the three key performers they will be up against on Saturday.
Matt Ritchie has been Newcastle’s best player by a mile in each of the three matches so far – but what do you make of their other two choices?
A target for Bristol City last season, Gayle has proved his eye for goal in the Sky Bet Championship and Premier League. The 25-year-old began his career with Dagenham & Redbridge before signing for Peterborough United for £500,000 in 2013 following an initial loan.
The striker netted 13 goals in just over half a season of Championship football and his displays led to Crystal Palace purchasing his signature for £6m. Most considered the move as a huge gamble but Gayle proved his ability to find the back of the net with eight goals in his first season in the Premier League. He followed it up with ten goals in all competitions in 2014/15 and despite being out of favour the year after, still scored seven goals in 20 outings.
Newcastle paid big money for Gayle (£10m) and expect him to score a hatful to help them achieve promotion. He got off the mark on Wednesday, scoring twice in Newcastle’s 4-1 win over Reading.
Following an impressive debut season in the Premier League with Bournemouth, Ritchie opted for a move back to the Championship in the summer with Newcastle spending £12m for his signature. The Scotland international signed a five-year contract at St James’ Park after providing six goals and a number of assists as the Cherries maintained their top-flight status.
Ritchie is an exciting winger, one with ‘great ability and pace’ as described by new boss Rafa Benitez. The 26-year-old was bought as a replacement for Andros Townsend and his previous Championship experience may prove vital to Newcastle’s ambition of promotion.
Shelvey moved to Newcastle for big money in January in an attempt to establish himself as a regular in the England squad. It backfired as his former club Swansea City avoided relegation, while he slipped in the second tier with Newcastle and missed out on a place in Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2016 squad.
However, the 24-year-old has undoubted ability and a keen eye for a decisive pass, which led to his first national call-up in 2012 aged 20.
With a fearless attitude and a want to make things happen, Shelvey is never shy of receiving possession and Benitez has outlined how important the midfielder could be to Newcastle this year.
Which three players would you rate as Newcastle’s key performers?
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