Gayle for me has been integral to the Newcastle side, since his signing from Crystal Palace.  I would advocate had it not been for his goal return, we may well have been languishing in the Championship, indeed he has shown that for ourselves and other clubs the London born striker has a knack of scoring vital goals at important times.

Throughout his career, Dwight Gayle has went through a journey which has taken him through the leagues, the less glamorous route.  By this I mean, paving your way to the top, playing for Peterborough, latterly Palace then the Toon.

Being brought up in Walthamstow, London, you sense his combative nature, never giving the opposition defence a moments rest, is driven from having to work hard to achieve you best in life.  Gayle has proved that he has a real eye for goal, predatory instincts, his pace, guile and movement means that he would be an ideal foil for Callum Wilson.  We know Bruce loves a formation change!

In terms of the contract situation , the silence from the hierarchy is deafening , as ever.  Gayle is able to potentially set up a pre-contract agreement prior to 30th June, where we run the risk of him going on a free transfer.  He has always offered us something different.

I sense one of the biggest debates would be; can he score consistently at Championship level, or is he not good enough for the Premier League?  Firstly , for me I believe that a striker is only as good as the service that they receive from team mates.  Gayle isn’t the biggest, yet his slender appearance has led to him scoring some vital goals with his head, the most recent being versus West Brom, he netted a vital winner from a brilliant cross.

He used all his experience and anticipated the defenders movement, managing to steer his header into the net.  A goal fit to win the match.  Realistically, he had no right to get on the end of it, such was the quality of the cross, he merely had to get the direction right.

Gayle proved integral to the rebuild under Rafa Benitez in our 2016-2017 Championship season, notoriously the hardest league to escape from in Europe.  There was some hugely memorable matches from that campaign, none more so than the thrilling 4-3 versus Norwich City.  The main number 9 that season helped himself to a hattrick.  He may have scored more!

It was fitting in the final home game that Gayle scored the third goal in a 3-0 over Barnsley, which was a climatic conclusion to a roller coaster season.  Undoubtedly we had lost too many games, Rafa acknowledged this many times, however he proved that he knew exactly how to get the best of the collective group of players at his disposal.

I often sense that with Joelinton in the team, Gayle must wonder what he has to do to get a starting place.  Granted, at times he misses a fair few chances, but he knows where the goal is and sometimes instinct within a striker is either ingrained into your psyche, or simply you don’t have the skills capable of fulfilling the role.

Gayle finished the Championship season on 23 goals, which for me is a very respectable return, I sense that he is our most natural finisher, in that he has been playing a lot of his career as a lone striker, no mean feat.  In terms of the Premier League, he is a middle to lower end of the spectrum striker, in that he will score goals, equally there will be some missed chances as well.

Without Dwight Gayle, we are a much weaker side, this season when we have attacked Callum Wilson has been a talisman for us, with him and Gayle I believe this would reap huge rewards for us, two differing styles, but both with an eye for goal, born winners.  I sense that losing him in the long term would lead to us regretting the sale at a later date.

How often do you see it?  Picture the image, Gayle revisiting St James’ Park, and you guessed it Gayle scores against us at the Gallowgate End, like Kevin Nolan for West Ham though has a rather “muted” celebration, I believe if he did leave, he would be highly regarded by the Toon Army.  A striker that gave his all for the jersey.  I will look back on his career with fond memories.

I have concerns about our much loved striker, I sense Mike Ashley and the hierarchy will look to proceed with what makes the club more prudent, and financially sound, an ominous insight into our current owner.  Bring on the takeover, in whatever form hope springs eternal and all that !!

Howay the Lads!