Newcastle United striker Dwight Gayle thrived during his time in the Championship last season.
Kevin Phillips has backed Dwight Gayle to replace the ‘struggling’ Joelinton and help score the much-needed goals that Newcastle United are crying out for.
Over the weekend, Gayle was provided with a much-needed start during Newcastle’s 1-1 draw against Wolves, and despite performing well, he suffered an injury to add to the already full treatment room at St James’ Park.
Gayle, who joined Newcastle during the summer of 2016 for £9 million [Sky Sports], has thrived in the Championship, but he has found it difficult to make a name for himself in the Premier League.
Former Black Cats striker, Phillips, played alongside Gayle during their time at Crystal Palace and speaking to Football Centre on Sky Sports (14/01/20 at 10:40 am), Phillips was adamant that Steve Bruce has the answers to his goalscoring problems within the club.
“The biggest problem for Steve is who’s going to score the goals to really take them further away from the relegation zone,” Phillips told Sky Sports. “Almiron now looks like he’s starting to [find his rhythm]. Well, he is, he scores against Rochdale and he scores against Wolves after going 20 odd games without a goal. So, he looks like he’s stepping up now.
“Andy Carroll, we would like to see him back fully fit because when he is he is a handful. The biggest disappointment has been Joelinton. He’s found it very, very difficult to adapt to the Premier League. But Steve believes in him and he has come out and said that he will come good and hopefully he will do that during the second half of the season.
“Possibly [they need to go into the market to sign a striker]. When I look at their squad, they have a player within their ranks that can score goals. I played with him at Palace and he was magnificent at West Brom last season in Dwight Gayle. He plays well at Wolves, and then, unfortunately, he gets injured and he’s got the curse of all the other [injury-hit] players.
“They have got a player [in Gayle] who could score them goals. It’s just whether they can keep him fit. Andy Carroll. Can they get him firing? Can they get that partnership? Only Steve can answer that because he works with them day in and day out.”
Just like target man Andy Carroll, it does seem as though only a specific style would suit Gayle if he is to thrive in England’s top-flight.
In the Championship, he helped Newcastle earn promotion to the Premier League under Rafa Benitez’s stewardship but he quickly found himself out-of-favour upon their return to the promised land.
Last season, he was on-loan at West Brom where he helped the Midlands outfit reach the play-off semi-finals before his side suffered a defeat at the hands of Aston Villa.