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.
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