Darren Bent has claimed that Dwight Gayle will score goals for Newcastle United if he is “given a chance”.
The £40,000-a-week hitman [Spotrac] has yet to start a game for the Magpies so far this season, but did hit the back of the net 24 times for West Brom during a loan spell in the Championship last term.
And Sky Sports pundit Bent believes that he can make an impact on Tyneside this time around.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “He needs to be given a chance.
“I don’t think he has ever had a proper chance in the Premier League and by that, I mean a run of 10-15 games in the team without being taken out.
“While it’s hard for a manager to do that, I guarantee he will score if given a decent run in the team, he could get between seven to 10 goals this season.
“It just seems with Gayle that everyone knows he is a clinical finisher in the Championship so he often gets shipped off to play in the Championship rather than a Premier League team take a chance on him and regularly play him.”
Gayle does seem to be stuck in a weird perpetual limbo whereby he is regarded as too good for the Championship and not quite good enough for the Premier League. However, for Bent to claim that he hasn’t had a chance to prove himself in the top flight seems a little ridiculous. As per the Premier League themselves, the Toon striker now has 101 appearances in the division, but just the 21 goals. You could argue, as Bent does, that he needs an extended run in a side to get a fair crack at staking his claim as the number hitman for a side, but if he was a proven goalscorer of the calibre that Bent is suggesting, surely he wouldn’t need to take 10-15 games to settle into the rhythm of things. He will no doubt get his chance at some point this term, but he needs to take it as quickly and effectively as he can.