Sky Sports pundit Danny Mills expects Dwight Gayle will be banging on Steve Bruce’s door in January, demanding that the Newcastle United boss either players him or allows him to leave.
Gayle initially sustained the blow during our pre-season tour of China and later felt his calf again while training in the gym at Darsley Park, and missed the first seven Premier League games of the season as a result.
He made his return from the bench away to Chelsea in October, but has gone on to be an unused substitute as many times as Bruce has called on him to enter the action toward the end of proceedings.
The situation is said to have led Gayle to consider his future at St. James’ Park, but while he is keen to move on as he is not Bruce’s first-choice option, has not yet agitated for a transfer out of Tyneside.
West Bromwich Albion, Leeds United and Nottingham Forest are some of the sides who would like to sign Gayle in January if his signature does become available, but Championship clubs are expected to favour temporary deals which the United hierarchy are opposed to.
They see Gayle as someone who will only be sold for £15million or more, and Bruce remains keen to keep the former Crystal Palace striker at the club.
But Mills has been left questioning how little Gayle has played since returning from his loan spell with West Brom, having performed “so well” during his time at the Hawthorns last season.
Should Bruce sell or play Gayle?
Just let him go in January
Give him some game time
“I’ve been surprised,” the former England right-back told Football Insider. “He has done so well in the Championship, I don’t think they wanted him to go out on loan.
“Steve Bruce likes him but he hasn’t really been given an opportunity, especially when your centre-forward has hardly scored.
“So he’ll be one knocking on the manager’s door [in January], saying ‘play me or let me leave’.”
In his brief outings, averaging 12 minutes a game under Bruce, Gayle has recorded 3.3 touches per game, plus 0.8 accurate passes, 0.5 total duels won, and has lost possession 1.5 times, per Sofa Score statistics.
In other Newcastle United news, loads of fans have been reacting on social media after Bruce discussed the club’s January transfer plans.