Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Injured Newcastle United Striker Edging Closer To Full Fitness: Big Boost For The Magpies?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, The Chronicle has revealed that Newcastle United striker Dwight Gayle is edging closer to full fitness as he continues to recover from his knee injury. The Magpies boss Steve Bruce provided an injury update on three of his players, in an interview with The Chronicle to whom he said, “Dwight Gayle is going along nicely, Martin Dubravka and so is Jonjo Shelvey.

“We’re hoping – and I don’t want to put anybody under pressure – that certainly after the international break in two or three weeks time they will be there or thereabouts.”

This latest development will be a welcome bit of news for anyone associated with the Tyneside club because Gayle has the skillset to strike up a dangerous attacking partnership with Callum Wilson if Bruce decides to play with two forwards up top.

Gayle’s Sporadic Role At St. James’ Park Last Season

The London-born marksman is yet to make an appearance for the Magpies this season, so his return will be a timely boost for them as they try to cope with fixture congestion during the winter months. The 30-year-old was an important squad player for the Tyneside giants in the previous campaign when he netted four goals and provided two assists in 22 matches across multiple competitions.

However, Gayle struggled to find consistency with his performances last season after he averaged 1.2 shots, 0.3 key passes and 0.1 dribbles per game in the Premier League. He was sloppy with his ball-distribution as well after making only 69% of his attempted passes in the English first division (stats via whoscored).

Newcastle United's Gayle edging closer to full fitness (Gayle is attempting to head the ball in the picture)
Lukasz Fabianski clears the ball as Dwight Gayle of Newcastle United looks to win a header during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and West Ham United at St. James Park on July 05, 2020, in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/Pool via Getty Images)

What Does The Ex-Crystal Palace Striker Bring To The Table?

Gayle possesses decent pace in his locker and can stretch the opposition defence with his tireless running in the final third. He is a hard-working frontman who scored some important goals for Newcastle last season. However, the English talent is far from a prolific forward as he doesn’t score or create nearly as many goals as Wilson to justify a place in Bruce’s first-team every week.

Gayle Inching Closer To Full Fitness: Big Boost For The Magpies?

Despite his lack of productivity, Gayle has got a lot of intangibles about him which makes him such a valuable squad player at Newcastle. Hence, the fact that he is coming back to full fitness will be a big boost for the Magpies ahead of what looks set to be a gruelling period for them in the coming months when the fixtures tend to pile up in English football.

Gayle could serve as an ideal impact substitute off the bench and might even do a decent job for the Magpies when he is given a start up top. We can expect Bruce to heavily rely on his services, especially when both Andy Carroll and Joelinton are struggling to give a good account of themselves in the Premier League this season.

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