Darren Bent has suggested that “something else must be going on” behind the scenes at Newcastle United to explain why Dwight Gayle isn’t getting a game for the Magpies.
The 29-year-old has just four substitute appearances to his name this season, despite scoring 24 goals for West Brom in the Championship last term, and the Magpies’ first choice options, Joelinton and Andy Carroll, having just one goal between them.
Speaking to Football Insider, Sky Sports pundit Bent said: “”We’re not seeing what’s going on in training cause you would think goal-wise, he’d definitely be getting more minutes than he is.
“But he’s getting nothing, so something else must be going on.
“I like Dwight Gayle, I think he’ll always score you goals, he’s sharp, he’s very very good, but for whatever reason…the manager doesn’t trust him and if the manager doesn’t trust you then you tend to struggle.
“So why isn’t he getting more minutes? I really don’t know.”
Bent could be onto something here. Gayle is a proven danger man, not just scoring all this goals for the Baggies, but averaging 2.4 shots per game, as per Whoscored. For a side who have struggled comprehensively to score goals this season, or at least who have strikers consistently misfiring, it makes little sense for a player of Gayle’s natural abilities not to have been given more of a shot by now. All of that would perhaps suggest that Steve Bruce just doesn’t fancy him, and if that is the case then you have to wonder what Gayle can do at this stage to turn things around on Tyneside. If he can’t, and things really don’t look too great, then he could well be shipped out in January. You would hope that decision doesn’t come back to bite the Magpies, because ultimately goals will keep you up, and readily getting rid of such a proven striker may well be a foolish thing to do.