Why Sheffield United should avoid a move for Dwight Gayle
According to the Daily Mail, Sheffield United have been linked with a move for Newcastle United striker Dwight Gayle, with manager Chris Wilder keen to add more depth and quality to his attack before the summer deadline.
The Blades have Liverpool youngster Rhian Brewster on their radar but have also identified Gayle as a potential target after having a bid for Arsenal starlet Folarin Balogun turned down. (h/t Daily Mail)
Dwight Gayle started his footballing education at Arsenal but he failed to make the grade and instead shot to prominence with Bishop’s Stortford in the non-league arena. He made his mark in the Football League system with Dagenham & Redbridge in League Two before excelling at Peterborough United in the EFL Championship.
The 30-year-old earned a move to the Premier League with Crystal Palace in 2013 and went on to score 15 goals in 64 league outings for the Eagles over the course of his four-year stay at Selhurst Park.
Gayle joined Newcastle United in 2016 and guided the Magpies to a promotion-winning campaign in the Championship with a 23-goal haul in 2016-17. After scoring 6 goals in 35 top-flight appearances, Gayle was loaned out to West Brom, where he plundered 24 goals in the Championship in 2018-19.
The diminutive hitman endured an injury-stricken 2019-20 season at Newcastle, scoring 4 goals in 20 Premier League appearances.
Sheffield United should aim higher than Gayle
As reported by Sky Sports earlier in September, Dwight Gayle is currently facing a four-month spell on the sidelines after undergoing knee surgery, thus potentially ruling him out of action until the turn of the year.
To that end, Sheffield United completing a move for the 30-year-old before the October deadline wouldn’t serve any purpose. It’s true that the Blades need attacking reinforcements after scoring just 39 goals in the Premier League last term, but bringing in Gayle would be a gamble that they simply can’t afford.
With Billy Sharp, David McGoldrick, Lys Mousset, Oliver McBurnie and new signing Oliver Burke already competing for places up top at Bramall Lane, Sheffield United need to make sure that whoever comes through the door presents a genuine upgrade on their existing striking options.
Gayle, who has a rather modest top-flight record of 25 goals in 119 career appearances, hardly fits the bill in that regard. The 30-year-old has proven himself as an undisputed match-winner in the Championship but has struggled for consistency in the Premier League, failing to hit the 10-goal mark even once in the top-flight.
The Newcastle United man ticks the box as a utility squad option for the Blades but considering that they have already got five senior strikers in their ranks, it’s hard to see why Chris Wilder would need to take a punt on a player who is currently on the treatment table.
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Suffice to say, Sheffield United need to aim higher after securing a 9th-place finish in their first season back in the top-flight. The Blades need to improve on their dismal scoring record from the previous campaign by bringing in better quality players in front of goal.
Dwight Gayle hardly presents a reliable goalscoring option in the Premier League and Wilder would be better off exploring other avenues if he is genuinely looking to improve his squad.