Whelan Urges Newcastle United To Offer This Striker A New Contract: Should The Magpies Comply?

Newcastle United's Dwight Gayle is on Fulham's radar this month (Gayle is in action in the photo)
Dwight Gayle of Newcastle United celebrates Miguel Almiron after scoring his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Aston Villa at St. James Park on June 24, 2020 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

In a recent interview with Football Insider, ex-Leeds United striker Noel Whelan urged Newcastle United to offer Dwight Gayle a new contract following his match-winning display versus West Bromwich Albion last weekend. Whelan said“Gayle deserves a new contract and I think he will get one because he is a natural goalscorer. That is what you get with him.

“He nearly got a goal before he scored that amazing header and it was amazing – there is no doubt about that. A fantastic cross but he still had lots to do. He was unsighted but the contact was perfect.

“The fact that he has been out for a long time, he looked really sharp at the weekend. He was getting on the ball, holding it up and you do not get too many goalscorers like Dwight Gayle.

“What a weapon to have on the bench right now. There is no harm in offering him an extra year of year and a half on a contract to keep him at the club.

“Give him that opportunity because he has been injured. It would be wrong not to give him the opportunity to showcase what he can do in the Premier League.”  

Gayle’s Important Role At Newcastle Recently

Gayle was out of action for a long time with a medial collateral ligament injury but marked his return with a match-winning goal versus the Baggies last Saturday. The London-born talent scored some important goals for the Magpies in the previous campaign when he featured in 22 matches for the Tyneside outfit, netting four goals and grabbing two assists in various competitions.

The 30-year-old was a valuable squad player for Steve Bruce’s side but struggled to be consistent with his all-round contributions on the pitch. He averaged 0.6 tackles, 0.5 clearances and 1.2 shots per game in the 2019-20 Premier League season. Gayle was also quite untidy when exchanging possession with his teammates in the opposition half as evident from his pass completion rate of 69% in the English top-flight (stats via whoscored).

Whelan urges Newcastle United to offer Gayle a new contract (Gayle is in action 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 Are The English Striker’s Best Attributes?

Gayle has decent pace under his belt and also possesses good football IQ to make some well-timed runs in behind the opposition backline. He has a knack for getting himself into some promising positions inside the opponent’s penalty box and can be a good finisher in the final third when he is playing with confidence on the field.

The English marksman has been an essential squad player under Bruce’s stewardship even though his goal-scoring record is far from convincing at St. James’ Park in recent seasons. Either way, at 30, Gayle might still have a lot to offer if Bruce wants to keep him at Tyneside in the coming years.

Should The Magpies Comply With Whelan’s Suggestion By Offering Gayle A New Deal?

The former Crystal Palace attacker’s current contract with the Magpies is set to run out at the end of this campaign. If Gayle can show some form over the next few weeks when the fixtures tend to pile up in the Premier League, then it makes sense for Newcastle to comply with Whelan’s suggestion by offering the player a new deal to extend his stay beyond next summer.

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.