Rafa Benitez reveals the story behind Dwight Gayle taking the No9 jersey at Newcastle

Dwight Gayle
Dwight Gayle

Rafa Benitez has revealed the story behind the unveiling of Dwight Gayle as Newcastle United's new No9.

Gayle has been handed the revered jersey ahead of tomorrow night's Championship season-opener against Fulham at Craven Cottage.

United manager Benitez had planned to hold a finishing "competition" between his two main strikers to decide who got to wear the shirt.

Revealed! Newcastle's new No9 announced ahead of Fulham season-opener

But Mitrovic said Gayle, signed from Crystal Palace this summer for £10million, should wear the jersey.

Benitez said: "We were going to organise a finishing competition for the No9, in the end Mitro was telling him to take the No9.

Aleksandar Mitrovic

Aleksandar Mitrovic

"If they both score both will be important. The atmosphere is good, it’s good for them to both want it but after talking with them it was easy.

"They understand the main thing is to score goals and be on the pitch."

Mitrovic is suspended for the first four games of the season following his dismissal against Tottenham Hotspur in May.