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With the season-long battle between Newcastle United and Brighton now over, both teams are promoted and Premier League football awaits them.
A key reason why both sides went up, as is usually the case, were the goals provided by their central strikers Dwight Gayle and Glenn Murray respectively. Here we look at some of the key stats that separate the pair:
|Goals||Minutes Per Goal||Assists||Shots Per Game||Key Passes Per Game||Giveaways Per Game|
Murray’s minutes-per-goal is significantly longer than that of Gayle, which would be fine if Brighton were any less reliant on a no.9 figure. They weren’t however, and so Gayle’s record in that regard reads rather impressively.
Murray created more goals than Gayle, but he played an extra 1300 minutes in the Championship due to Gayle’s injuries. Gayle manages to find a few extra shots compared to Murray and gives the ball away less often – all positives for the 26-year-old.
Although we can never say never, it would seem that given the above statistics and with Gayle enjoying a 7-year advantage on Murray in terms of age, the Newcastle striker may have the better of things up in the Premier League next season. Both players, of course, have played at the top level before and both for the same club. Here’s a look at how the two compare considering their PL history:
|PL Games||Goals||Games Per Goal|
These stats make them look much closer in ability, however considering Murray was more or less at his peak in this period, while Gayle was just learning his trade, the Newcastle man has the advantage again. What’s more, Gayle was not entrusted with the central striking position on enough occasions to truly know how well he would have done as a goal scorer at this level.
At 26-years of age and a confirmed no.9 these days, Dwight Gayle will do well at the top level whereas this cannot be guaranteed of Murray who appears to have had his chance. Newcastle may yet look to replace Gayle as their first choice striker for next season, but they undoubtedly have a player who can do a job in that position.