This is the Rafa alternative to Mohamed Diame not two up front for Newcastle
It is like a broken record this season, game after game you have any number of United fans expecting Rafa Benitez to drop Mohamed Diame and unleash a dream front two of Dwight Gayle and Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Sometimes the story varies and you have Daryl Murphy instead of the mad Serbian but it is the same tale of frustrated expectation.
In this latest boring international break, I have once again seen any number of supporters claiming that surely now Mohamed Diame will make way for the Gayle/Mitro pairing.
Rafa Benitez has shown remarkable faith in the Mohamed Diame plan despite a lot of evidence suggesting it isn’t working.
Obviously we don’t know whether it is because Rafa thinks Diame in behind Gayle is a good plan, or whether it is simply a case of the United boss feeling he has no other viable alternatives with Aleksandar Mitrovic looking even slower and more unfit than last season.
Help though may be at hand.
Rafa Benitez gave Matt Ritchie a shift off in the last game, with Christian Atsu getting his first chance from the start.
I can definitely see the mileage in Rafa keeping the Ritchie/Gouffran balance on the wings against Brentford BUT with the exciting possibility of moving Christian Atsu inside and exploiting the Ghanaian international’s pace, in and around Dwight Gayle.
That would give Newcastle extra goalscoring threat which Mohamed Diame certainly isn’t supplying, plus the combined pace of Gayle and Atsu could create all kinds of mischief for the opposition.
You heard it here first.
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]