Why Dwight Gayle could be playing the long game at Newcastle United
Dwight Gayle, surely, has had enough of warming Newcastle United’s bench.
Yet the striker, according to a report, is set to commit his future to the relegation-threatened club.
Gayle, out of contract in the summer, has reportedly agreed a new deal which will keep him at St James’s Park until 2024.
The contract has not been confirmed by the club, which which is making no comment.
A new deal, especially if it’s on reduced terms, makes sense for United, as the club was set to lose a valuable asset – for nothing – at the end of the season.
The terms are important because Gayle was given a pay rise which inflated his salary before he agreed to join West Bromwich Albion the season before last in a loan swap deal which saw Salomon Rondon come to Newcastle.
Gayle’s present wage is unsustainable for a club which is grappling with the costs of the coronavirus pandemic – and could yet suffer a greater income drop through relegation.So a new deal would see Newcastle protect their investment – and secure a player who’s adept at scoring at Championship level.
But what’s in it for Gayle?
Gayle, clearly, is frustrated at a lack of minutes on the field. His situation hasn’t improved in the absence of Callum Wilson through injury. Gayle’s first start came on the right side of the attack in last month’s 2-0 defeat to Chelsea.
The 31-year-old is ill-suited to the “split-striker” system brought in by Graeme Jones, Steve Bruce’s assistant, and he’s yet to play as an out-and-out striker this season.
Things were seemingly looking up for Gayle at Newcastle following Bruce’s arrival in the summer of 2019. Bruce, repeatedly, spoke about the three times he had tried to sign Gayle earlier in his managerial career, but the injury he suffered that pre-season would end up keeping him out for several months.
Gayle did hit form last summer when the Premier League restarted behind closed doors – he scored four goals – but Wilson’s arrival ahead of this season has seen him restricted to just two starts.
That said, a deal, even on reduced terms, gives Gayle security – and he will know he could yet return to the fore at the club.