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Championship clubs Leeds United, Norwich City and Fulham are reportedly interested in bringing in Newcastle striker Dwight Gayle before the transfer deadline, alerted by the fact that the No.9 was left out of Rafa Benitez’s squad for the West Ham game and is apparently available for sale.
Fulham are the first of the trio to affirm their interested with an apparent £15million bid, though Newcastle have said they are only willing to trade at around £20million. The question from a Newcastle perspective though is; should they sell their last season’s top scorer?
True, Gayle was vital in getting Newcastle up last term, having netted 23 times in 32 Championship games. That is very impressive, though it’s the second figure there which is a concern. Gayle, and we’re including sub appearances here, played just 69% of the Toon’s games last term and his injury concerns were apparent once again in pre-season.
Rafa Benitez said repeatedly last season that in each week’s training he could not split Gayle and Aleksandar Mitrovic on ability and so it may be significant again that Mitro came off the bench to score against West Ham, already his second goal of the season, while Gayle has not shone in that regard.
A further dent in Gayle’s chances is the cheap signing of Joselu, the former Stoke man impressing the fans since joining and scoring a full debut goal against the Hammers last time out.
So, with Rafa desperate for funds, two in-form strikers already being at his disposal and Gayle a potential injury case and unproven as a scorer at the top level, you could argue that £15million-plus would be a great deal for Newcastle.
Plenty of fans will not want to read this and those with a more permanent disposition for whining about their football club will say that selling is never good. But they must see the bigger picture. Putting yourself in Rafael Benitez’s position makes this deal crystal clear – sell him!
Rafa needs the cash and this potential deal may well mean that his other targets have now been sanctioned, so long as there is some money coming in. Gayle, in theory, is no longer needed should Joselu play well and once Lejeune comes back, there would precisely be zero requirements for Grant Hanley either.
So, getting certain players off the books creates the sort of funds the manager needs and a case can even be made that £15million is a lot of money for Gayle given what he has achieved in the Premier League to date.