The toughest, but most essential, challenge for Newcastle United this summer, was/is to bring in a striker who is better than Dwight Gayle.

At the moment, Newcastle don’t have anybody with a proven goalscoring record in the Premier League.

Dwight Gayle has scored 15 Premier League goals spread over three years at Crystal Palace and 64 appearances, although only 27 of those PL games were in the starting 11.

Ayoze Perez has 13, Mitrovic with nine and Murphy four.

Dwight Gayle showed with 23 goals last season he is well worth a chance in the top division BUT he can’t be relied upon to do it on his own.

Clubs that struggle in the Premier League almost always don’t have a regular goalscorer, Sunderland being a bit of an exception last season. Jermain Defoe scoring 15 goals, the big problem being that the entire rest of the squad only managed 14!

The problem is two-fold with Dwight Gayle though.

He obviously still has to prove that he can score on a regular basis in the Premier League AND his injury record has to be of serious concern.

Hamstring problems plagued Gayle at Crystal Palace and it was the same at Newcastle last season, the number nine making only 26 Championship starts out of a possible 46.

You always need to try and improve your squad and for me, by far the biggest investment this summer has to be on a goalscorer.

Ideally that would be on a striker who could also play alongside Dwight Gayle and not just instead of but the stakes are too high for there not to be at least one quality forward, of whatever style, brought in.

Personally, I don’t see any of Perez, Mitrovic and Murphy being able to do a job in the Premier League and it would be living on a knife-edge if Newcastle were relying on them as back-up for Dwight Gayle.

Identifying just which striker would be ideal is of course the 64 dollar question and one that needs to be answered.

With prices and Newcastle’s current standing, clearly NUFC aren’t going to be able to bring in the perfect striker but it is then a case of bringing in the next best thing.

The club’s transfer record has stood at £16m for 12 years now and to bring in somebody with a better profile than Dwight Gayle, you have to think would mean that record being broken, possibly by some way.

Pre-season training starts a week today and we await with interest, I have confidence in Rafa Benitez identifying the right striker but will he get the necessary backing from Mike Ashley?

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])

  • Jimblag23

    What about Loic Remy, or is he just always injured?

    • Anita kick up the Hoop

      He’s just a sh1th0use

  • brin mcardle

    i believe he is going to France for £3m…total bargain…sorry to say we will really struggle without another striker..come on Ashley..SPEND BIG

  • Anita kick up the Hoop

    “A striker that could also play alongside Dwight Gayle” … what, like Mitrovic!
    This is the reason it was madness NOT to allow these two players the chance to build a partnership and understanding during the championship season… Mitro isn’t ever going to be a 20 goal a season striker BUT he is made to be a focal point and a foil for a finisher like Gayle to play off. .. at 22 he’s nowhere near his potential and playing as a lone striker without genuine wingers and without a second striker/attacking midfielder (a quality one) he won’t ever realise it either .. but that’s not to say he’s a bad player or that he should be written off… Andy Cole couldn’t have played as well as he did without Beardsley or Dwight York, Bellamy without Shearer or visa versa as injuries slowed Al down .. buying a striker is vital this summer as in my opinion Gayle can’t lead a line, he’s proven at the highest level time and time again he can finish BUT only when he’s played with a partner.. Raffa won’t commit two forwards into attack sacrificing his preferred packed midfield.. Gayle may find it hard going this season so we had better get it right in the transfer market as it looks nailed on we are selling Mitro (a mistake in my opinion)

    • Rich Lawson

      I think Mitro would be wound up mercilessly by experienced prem’ defenders who know his temperament and would always be in danger of getting sent off. You are right they should have had a few games together last season,but Rafa chose otherwise ?

      • That’s only because Rafa stuck with what worked in the division(solid in the back and single striker) and we got promoted, I don’t hear anyone complain about that. Remember when Gayle was injured and we could hardly score a single goal?

        • Rich Lawson

          I’m not complaining,I’m agreeing that the time to try them together and see if they had a meaningful partnership was in the championship,but we didn’t for the reason you point out and it’s not going to happen now because we seem to be up for selling him ?

          • The transfer market is insanely overpriced. Home-grown talent is now more important than ever, we should definitely be poring money in the youth-development programs.

    • Mxpx

      Completely agree 7 in 7 for Serbia is incredible form 9/27 isn’t a terrible record for the premiership especially in a team that got relegated at 21 years old

    • Cuh736

      Clarko obviously hasn’t seen this yet lol

    • Jezza

      I gave up any lingering hope of Mitrovic ever being a decent forward for NUFC when I saw him being out paced and out muscled for 90 minutes by average third division defenders at Oxford.

  • mentalman

    we aren’t the only team without a proven premier league striker, in fact every player Brighton have with premier league experience has proven they can’t cut it in the league

  • 1957

    Given that Benitez will not change his tactical approach, as much as I would like to see it, we have to accept his decision as manager is we will be playing with one striker and support from midfield.

    In view of this we should have two priorities, a proven top level goalscorer and a competent central attacking midfielder. Gayle may or may not come good but we can’t take the risk he flops and the thought of SloMo providing support again is frightening.

    Forget the ‘experienced’ goalkeeper obsession, what we have would suffice for next season IMO

    • toonterrier

      Spot on

  • hetonmag

    I would love to know where we are going to get a proven striker from bearing in mind the saints want 70 mil for a CH, Rafa has his his work cut out but that’s what he gets paid for. Let’s just hope he digs a jewel up from somewhere because the transfer market is just crazy.

    • 1957

      It’s an almost impossible situation but Benitez will have to do something, what we have now and I include Gayle (partly due to him being susceptible to hamstring injuries) won’t score us enough goals.

  • Cuh736

    I can’t think of any striker who would want to come to NUFC now.

    • 1957

      Any striker with international aspirations, given there is a world cup on the horizon, would want an almost guaranteed first team spot and will view the single striker tactic we employ as a potential problem.

  • I believe Perez to be good for 10 goals and can play instead of Gayle if injured(literally same type of player and has good finishing and positioning)
    Mitro and Murphy simply won’t do. We could give Armstrong or Heardman a run in the pre-season and hope they can step up. I would actually welcome it if we try to get Carroll back, but West Ham will most likely never settle for less than 12-13Mln.

    • 1957

      From what I’ve seen of Heardman at youth and u21 level he’s never going to be a top division striker. He’s not the next Andy Carroll as the Chronicle want us to believe and I’m sure he is 22 this year, a year younger than Mitrovic and IMO not as good.

      Armstrong has to be given a go at some stage I agree but pre season games will prove nothing, he needs to play in Cup games or the PL, can we risk that…

      • We must do 2-3 more friendlies and give the lads a run. Benitez had to not risk the Championship because promotion was top priority.
        Now he can experiment in the pre-season. What I saw of the U21 when they were given the rare gaming time I fancy Barlaser to make it. He was leagues better than Colback in the midfield.

  • Shipcote Willy

    There are plenty signings United need to make but won’t complete any of them. We are shopping at the survival stores once the money has started flowing in again.

  • NUFCDan

    We could have had Balotelli on a free but hes just signed a new contract…