Eight games into the Premier League season, Newcastle United are yet to find the reliable goalscorer they need to help them fend off the threat of a return to the second-tier of English football and they haven’t been able to rely on the performances of their star-man from last year.
Dwight Gayle is yet to find the net this season and has struggled to earn consistent opportunities in the first-team, with summer signing Joselu playing ahead of him and scoring two goals to date- putting the Spaniard joint top-scorer in the team.
Having picked up an injury in the weekend’s 2-2 draw with Southampton, Gayle could now slip further down the pecking order as Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic is fighting for his spot after missing three matches through suspension.
Whilst the full extent of Gayle’s injury is not known, his absence could be significant in the striker’s career and Newcastle may be regretting their decision to turn down a £15m offer from Fulham in the summer- and a sale in January should certainly be considered.
Newcastle are currently in limbo due to the ongoing takeover speculation and, whilst the aim is to have a deal concluded before Christmas, there’s a significant danger that it could drag on into the New Year- which could then throw a spanner in the works for Rafael Benitez.
If a deal isn’t concluded, then Benitez will likely have to raise funds for January additions himself with outgoing deals and Gayle, who could earn Newcastle a significant sum, may be the man sacrificed if Benitez elects to sign a new striker.
Given that Newcastle have had their issues with consistency in front of goal, the general consensus is that the Magpies will look to find a reliable goalscorer in January and, so far, Gayle hasn’t shown any signs to suggest he could be that man.
23 goals in 32 Championship appearances last season suggested that Gayle has the capacity to impress in the Premier League but that hasn’t been the case so far, although the Magpies have certainly had their fair share of testing matches.
If his performances and his return in front of goal do not improve, then selling Gayle may well be the best course of action in the January window.