Rafael Benitez’s comments to the Shields Gazette, after Newcastle United’s match against Manchester United at the weekend, just make his decision to offload Dwight Gayle in the summer look even stranger.
Newcastle lined up with Yoshinori Muto and Ayoze Perez up-front at Old Trafford, and the pair caused plenty of problems.
Newcastle had a 2-0 lead against United, but ended up losing the contest.
Benitez claimed after that the pairing of Muto and Perez was encouraging, as he felt Newcastle needed more pace and mobility.
He said: “I think it was important for us to have some mobility and pace in attack, and his understanding with Ayoze (Perez) was quite good.”
But the comments just lead to questions over why Gayle was offloaded to West Bromwich Albion.
Granted, Gayle has struggled in front of goal at Premier League level before, but he could have offered Newcastle all the pace and mobility they needed up-front.
Gayle had also struck up a good understanding with Perez during their years together at St. James’ Park.
And Benitez’s desire to find the exact qualities Gayle could have offered Newcastle this term, makes his decision to let him go all the more bizarre.
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