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Opinion

Dwight Gayle Premier League and Championship debate opens up again – Wins another goal of the month award

3 months ago
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With Dwight Gayle and Salomon Rondon it has been a win/win situation so far this season.

The two strikers both performing well in doing their best to get their clubs promoted or to survive.

Rafa Benitez came out after the transfer window and said he had wanted to have both strikers in his squad this season.

However, due to Mike Ashley refusing to all Rondon to be bought by Newcastle due to his age (28 at the time, turned 29 in September 2018), it was a case of he could only get the Venezuelan on loan if he allowed Dwight Gayle on loan at the Hawthorns.

So far this season, Salomon Rondon has scored six Premier League goals and it is 15 Championship ones for Dwight Gayle, the latest coming on Saturday in the 3-2 defeat to Middlesbrough, whilst the one before that saw him get his second WBA goal of the season award for a strike against current leaders Norwich – scoring past Tim Krul.

Once again, Dwight Gayle is proving to be the most prolific scorer in the Championship, scoring a goal every 105 minutes.

This is his record in recent years

2018/19 Played 1579 minutes and scored 15 – A goal every 105 minutes (Championship – West Brom)

2017/19 Played 1961 minutes and scored 6 – A goal every 326 minutes (Premier League – Newcastle)

2016/17 Played 2146 minutes and scored 23 – A goal every 93 minutes (Championship – Newcastle)

2013/16 Played 3620 minutes and scored 15 – A goal every 241 minutes (Premier League – Crystal Palace)

In Newcastle’s promotion season it was the same, nobody bettered Gayle’s goal every 93 minutes.

However, it is a different story in the Premier League.

Dwight Gayle has struggled to score in the top tier but for me there are big mitigating circumstances.

At Palace he very rarely had a run of games and was used mainly as a sub over the course of three years, whilst at Newcastle he was playing in a very defensive minded side under Rafa last season.

For comparison/interest, Salomon Rondon has an average of a goal every 241 minutes (6 in 1445 PL minutes) for Newcastle United so far.

Whilst for West Brom over three seasons he scored 24 goals in 8,234 minutes, an average of once every 343 PL minutes.

Adding his NUFC statistics to the West Brom ones, Rondon scores once every 323 PL minutes, whilst Gayle’s overall average at NUFC and Palace in the top tier is once every 266 minutes.

Like Dwight Gayle last season, Rondon has to do a job for his team in a negative set-up, just as it was under Pulis at West Brom for most of his time there.

For me, it shouldn’t be an either or.

Dwight Gayle isn’t an elite striker but I do think he is a good forward who can score goals in the Premier League, if given the chance in a more attacking line-up.

He is in his prime at 28 and personally, I would love to see him (Gayle) and Rondon & Almiron at Newcastle next season, along with another striker signing, with the likes of Joselu and Perez moved on, as neither of them are good enough, in my opinion.

Rafa Benitez is clearly wanting more pace in his side and as well as the strength of Rondon, the likes of Dwight Gayle, Miguel Almiron and another decent signing, can add that pace as well as goals.

Not a case of them all playing every minute of every match but something has to be done, as at the minute we are all terrified of any injury to Salomon Rondon.

Britt Assombalonga moved from Forest to Middlesbrough for £15m eighteen months ago, so how much is Dwight Gayle worth, based on that?

West Brom official site:

‘Dwight Gayle has won January’s Ideal Boilers Goal of the Month award with his strike against Norwich City.

‘The 28-year-old finished a wonderful back-to-front team move to give Albion the lead against the Canaries at The Hawthorns.

‘It is the second time the striker has won the award after picking up the gong for his sublime goal against Stoke City in September.’

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