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West Brom set to finally buy Dwight Gayle with dramatic return to Premier League secured?

4 months ago
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Dwight Gayle was an unqualified success at West Brom.

On loan in 2018/19 as part of the arrangement that brought Salomon Rondon to St James Park, the Baggies fans loved him and voted him player of the season, the striker also voted scorer of the WBA goal of the season by supporters.

Little wonder and they had plenty to choose from – Dwight Gayle was top scorer with 24 goals in only 34 starts (plus 6 sub appearances.

After West Brom missed out in the 2019 play-offs, West Brom fans were insistent that Dwight Gayle had to be kept at the club at all costs, to help ensure promotion in 2019/20.

However, on 20 May 2019, West Brom’s Sporting and Technical Director Luke Dowling gave the fans a dose of reality:

“Dwight’s contract is a Premier League contract.

“We will pay Premier League contracts but only when we are back in the Premier League.

“I know it won’t be the news Albion fans want to hear, but they need to trust us, and know we are doing everything right for this football club.

“We don’t want to keep players on big contracts and then have to lay off normal staff and make people redundant. We have good people behind the scenes.

“We want to do that and still have a really competitive wage bill on the pitch, which we will have next year.”

Dwight Gayle instead returned to Newcastle and a pre-season injury made it impossible for him to be sold last summer.

Available once again and back to full fitness after September 2019, Dwight Gayle then spent a very frustrating three months. Very bizarrely, every week Steve Bruce would say how highly he rated Gayle and then he wouldn’t play him.

Newcastle really struggling for goals but Bruce blindly (under orders?) persevering with Joelinton through the middle, whilst Dwight Gayle went through October, November and December sitting on the bench, until finally 19 games into the season, the striker started in the defeat at Old Trafford on Boxing Day.

Partly due to injury but with Steve Bruce also deciding to leave him on the bench once again, Dwight Gayle only started three more PL games before lockdown.

However, five starts (and two sub appearances) since the restart and Dwight Gayle has catapulted himself to be top goalscoring striker this season for NUFC, giving Newcastle the lead against Villa, Bournemouth and Watford. Three PL goals compared to the two that Carroll, Joelinton and Muto have got between them.

Dwight Gayle doesn’t look a happy man though, even when he scores you don’t really get the impression he is loving life at Newcastle. With Steve Bruce having messed him about so badly, I can’t see him wanting to stay.

On Wednesday night, a dramatic set of results decided matters at the top and bottom of the Championship.

Even though only drawing 2-2 at home to QPR, a surprise home defeat for Brentford means West Brom take the second automatic promotion spot.

However, despite an excellent season, West Brom clearly need strengthening in these next seven weeks ahead of Premier League football.

A striker has to be top priority.

Fulham finished fourth and Mitrovic top scored with 26, Brentford were third and had Watkins 25 goals, Benrahma 17 and Mbeuno 13. In contrast, top scoring for the Baggies were Charlie Austin and Hal Robson-Kanu with only 10 Championship goals each.

In normal circumstances, you would think Dwight Gayle to West Brom is surely a no-brainer.

The Baggies desperately need a goalscorer, Dwight Gayle would be a very popular signing with their fans. From the Newcastle side, Gayle turns 30 in October and only has one year left on his contract, this transfer window surely the last chance NUFC could sell him for potentially £10m+ with the Baggies the obvious destination.

However, these aren’t normal circumstances at Newcastle United.

Mike Ashley happily pushed out Rondon and Perez a year ago, so he could pursue his insistence on buying Joelinton for an alleged £40m+ and the daft PR signing of permacrock Carroll, who is now 28 months without a PL goal.

It would be maybe cruel to say Dwight Gayle is best of a bad bunch of strikers at Newcastle but no better than best of a poor / average group of NUFC forwards.

New owners would surely see investment in decent goalscorers but if Mike Ashley stays in control ahead of the new season, I see nothing but loan signings and maybe the odd free, plus odd players if they can be landed at what Ashley believes are bargain prices. Already the alarm bells are ringing, as despite Bentaleb and Rose being really poor on loan, Steve Bruce has talked about wanting to buy them.

If that is the level NUFC will be going for, do you really trust them to get a goalscorer better than Dwight Gayle?

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