Leeds United Opinion: Signing Dwight Gayle would make the Whites hot favourites for automatic promotion
According to Birmingham Live, Leeds United are the latest club to have been credited with an interest in Newcastle United striker Dwight Gayle, with reports claiming that manager Marcelo Bielsa is keen to add more firepower to his ranks.
Gayle enjoyed another sensational season in the Championship on loan at West Brom this term, as the 28-year-old struck 24 goals in 41 games to propel the Baggies to the playoffs. And his scintillating run of form has made him a hot property amongst the promotion-chasing clubs in the second-tier ahead of the upcoming season.
However, Birmingham Live understands that West Brom have ruled out the possibility of signing Gayle permanently due to the club’s lack of financial resources, while it is unlikely that Newcastle would use him in the Premier League next term.
As things stand, Gayle’s future remains up in the air ahead of the summer transfer window, and it remains to be seen whether the 28-year-old stays in the Championship for another season or chooses to join a Premier League club.
Gayle, who made his move to Newcastle from Crystal Palace for a fee of £10 million back in 2016, fired the Magpies back to the Premier League at the first time of asking with a 23-goal season in the Championship.
However, a mediocre 2017-18 season in the Premier League prompted Newcastle to ship him out on loan to West Brom last summer, with Salomon Rondon moving the other way as a part of the deal.
The Englishman once again proved his worth as a prolific goalscorer in the Championship and netted 24 goals in all competitions, registering a career-best tally in the process.
As a matter of fact, Gayle boasts of an awe-inspiring strike rate in the second-tier, having racked up 59 goals in 100 appearances playing for the likes of Peterborough United, Newcastle and West Brom.
However, his returns in the Premier League are quite modest as compared to his numbers in the Championship. Gayle has scored 21 goals in 99 Premier League outings for the likes of Newcastle and Palace, which is a clear testament to the fact that he is more lethal in the Championship.
To put things into perspective, Leeds United should go all out in their pursuit of the 28-year-old goal machine this summer to mount another challenge for automatic promotion next term.
The Whites had a golden chance to make a return to the top-flight and put an end to their 15-year-long exile from the Premier League but the Yorkshire giants blew it away with a poor run of form over the Easter period followed by a painful defeat at the hands of Derby County in the playoffs.
It doesn’t require a rocket scientist to figure out that Leeds are in dire need of a prolific No.9 to fire them to promotion next season. They were the only team in the top-five in the Championship to not have a striker who scored 20 goals or more, with Kemar Roofe finishing as the top scorer with 15 and Pablo Hernandez playing a key role with 12 goals and 12 assists to his name.
While the likes of Teemu Pukki (Norwich City), Billy Sharp (Sheffield United), Dwight Gayle (West Brom), Tammy Abraham (Aston Villa) all surpassed the 20-goal mark with ease, Leeds had to rely on the likes of Hernandez and Roofe to deliver the goods.
Suffice to say, the lack of a natural goalscorer was a major Achilles Heel for the Whites this past season and the acquisition of Dwight Gayle might solve plenty of problems for Marcelo Bielsa.
A fast, agile, athletic and hardworking striker known for his poaching skills, Gayle is a natural finisher in front of goal and he would definitely be a massive upgrade on the likes of Patrick Bamford and Tyler Roberts, neither of whom did an awful lot this season.
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Leeds are likely to have to shell out a sizeable fee to get their hands on Dwight Gayle but they would be the hot favourites in the automatic promotion race next term if they do, indeed, manage to land the striker.