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Opinion

This Newcastle United position on Dwight Gayle makes zero sense

10 months ago
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Dwight Gayle has now been at Newcastle United for three and a half years.

Newcastle paying £10m for the striker at the end of June 2016.

Gayle played a key role in the instant promotion back to the Premier League, scoring 23 goals in 26 Championship starts (plus six sub appearances).

With Mike Ashley then refusing to support Rafa Benitez on the return to the top tier, Rafa was forced to shop in the bargain bins and came up with Joselu from Stoke reserves for £5m.

The manager fashioning survival on a budget as he used a combination of Dwight Gayle with Joselu and/or Ayoze Perez that eventually helped bring tenth spot in 2017/18. Gayle with only six Premier League goals but his unselfish play a massive help to the team, as he started 23 PL games and came off the bench another 12 times.

His last Newcastle goal was the final day of that 2017/18 season as Newcastle beat the then reigning champions Chelsea 3-0, Mike Ashley straight after the final whistle came out with his infamous statement promising ‘every penny’ yet again in support of Rafa.

However, ‘every penny’ was in reality that summer Mike Ashley forcing Rafa Benitez to make a £20m+ profit on transfers in and out, with Rafa forced into agreeing to let Dwight Gayle go out on loan or else he wouldn’t even be allowed to bring in Salomon Rondon on loan.

Fast forward to the present day and Dwight Gayle is back at Newcastle United and showing no signs of leaving St James Park.

Ahead of this current January transfer window it was reported by journalists close to Steve Bruce and the Mike Ashley regime, that Dwight Gayle was up for sale but only if a club was ready to pay £15m.

This stance has been repeated and repeated in ongoing reports along with the added info that club sources have said that they don’t expect any Championship club to come up with the £15m asking price AND that Steve Bruce is happy for the striker to stay. Indeed Bruce himself has said this time and time again, claiming Dwight Gayle is an important part of the team/squad that he doesn’t want to lose….

In reality though, isn’t this whole thing nonsense and sums up what a mess Newcastle United are in at the minute and indeed on an ongoing basis under Mike Ashley.

As well as the overall lack of ambition under this owner, there are so many stupid decisions made due to the lack of quality in the staff that Ashley employs.

The truth is, Steve Bruce has no real intention of playing Dwight Gayle and has only given him one Premier League start (at Man Utd due to playing two games within 48 hours) and 151 minutes in total. The likes of Joelinton, Carroll, Saint-Maximin and Almiron are all ahead of Dwight Gayle and Newcastle are looking to bring in at least one, maybe more, other striker in January who would automatically go in above Gayle as well.

Back in summer 2018 when Dwight Gayle was 27 you might have got £15m from somebody but reality is that expecting anyone to pay £15m now in January 2020 is just not real life. He turns 30 in October and as a striker whose biggest asset is pace, only has a limited shelf life, plus he now has only 17 months left on his NUFC contract.

It is now 20 months since Dwight Gayle last scored for Newcastle and indeed eight months since getting his last goal anywhere, when on loan in the second tier at West Brom.

The very fact Newcastle have made clear they see it only being Championship clubs who would/will be interested, means that the £15m valuation is totally unrealistic, a striker who turns 30 this year and isn’t believed good enough for the Premier League. Indeed, a £15m valuation on Gayle, makes as much sense as the £40m+ that Mike Ashley insisted Joelinton was worth.

Any club would also have to satisfy Gayle’s wage demands and for my money, Newcastle United need to set a price that is realistic for all parties. A deal/move makes sense for the player, NUFC and a buying club looking for a striker who will get goals in the Championship.

Newcastle need to set a transfer price of around £8m-£10m at the very most and maybe insist on an extra payment of a couple of million or so if the buying club gets promoted in the summer.

Newcastle United need to move on any number of players, including Dwight Gayle, get what they can for them and/or get their salaries off he wage bill, letting the players move on to play regular football and create space and additional funds to help pay for signings who will be good enough to compete for a place in the team.

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