Whilst Rafa Benitez builds his sides with solid foundations at the back, it is goals that will win matches this season as Newcastle aim to bounce back to the Premier League at the first attempt.

Since the opening day of the season when defeated at Craven Cottage, Newcastle have only failed to score in one of their 18 matches (all competitions), which was the 2-0 home loss to Wolves.

Altogether Newcastle have scored 34 goals in the Championship and this is the breakdown:

11 Dwight Gayle

3 Ayoze Perez

3 Aleksandar Mitrovic

3 Yoan Gouffran

3 Jonjo Shelvey

2 Matt Ritchie

2 Christian Atsu

2 Ciaran Clark

1 Grant Hanley

1 Isaac Hayden

1 Jamaal Lascelles

1  DeAndre Yedlin

1 Own Goal

Newcastle currently have a record showing: P16 W12 D1 L3 GF34 GA13 Points 37

This compares to the following in 2009/10: P16 W10 D3 L3 GF25 GA10 Points 33

As you can see, Newcastle are currently four points and nine goals better off than that last Championship campaign, although Rafa’s team have conceded three more goals at this stage.

Back in 2009/10, this is who had scored the 25 Championship goals after 16 matches, it is notable that apart from the three out and out forward players (Nolan was basically played as a striker that season, not a midfielder), it was only free-kick specialist Ryan Taylor who had scored more than one goal.

This (2016/17 season), we have Dwight Gayle with 11 goals and Mitrovic with three – but then six other midfielders/defenders scoring two or more.

2009/10 goalscorers after 16 games:

7  Kevin Nolan

4 Andy Carroll

4 Shola Ameobi

2 Ryan Taylor

1 Steven Taylor

1 Damien Duff

1 Fabricio Coloccini

1 Jonas Gutierrez

1 Danny Guthrie

1 Danny Simpson

1 Marlon Harewood

1 Own Goal

By the end of that 2009/10 promotion season, this is how the goalscoring list looked (in their final 30 games, the 2009/10 squad lost only one match and scored a further 65 goals):

17  Kevin Nolan, 17 Andy Carroll, 13 Peter Lovenkrands, 10 Shola Ameobi, 5 Marlon Harewood, 4 Ryan Taylor, 4 Jonas Gutierrez, 4 Danny Guthrie, 3 Wayne Routledge, 3 Own Goal, 2 Fabricio Coloccini, 2 Nile Ranger, 1 Steven Taylor, 1 Joey Barton, 1 Jose Enrique, 1 Damien Duff, 1 Danny Simpson, Fabrice Pancrate

For Newcastle to keep up their current form of results and goals, a bit like that season seven years ago, we’ll probably need at least another two or three players to step it up and get into double figures alongside Dwight Gayle.

I wouldn’t rule out another striker/forward player arriving in January but of the current squad, I’d be looking at Aleksandar Mitrovic, Matt Ritchie and maybe Ayoze Perez, to be the ones who can play main supporting roles to Dwight Gayle.

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