Newcastle United officially announced the signing of Crystal Palace striker Dwight Gayle on a five-year deal for a reported transfer fee of 10 million pounds. Gayle, 25, scored 26 goals in 74 games for Palace—including 7 in 20 appearances across all competitions last season.
At 5’8 and 161lbs, Gayle isn’t the biggest of strikers, but his pace, work rate and a striker’s instinct should make up for that. In addition, the man has the ability to strike the ball—both with power and technique. Having scored from set-pieces several times throughout his career, Newcastle will hope he can replicate some of the goals Townsend was able to provide from free kicks last season.
Gayle has the potential to form a good partnership with Mitrovic up front, assuming Rafa decides to play with two strikers up top. I can already picture Mitro acting as the target man, flicking headers for Gayle to run on to, or holding up play and slipping passes through to the speedy newcomer.
Rafa Benitez had this to say on the signing of Gayle:
“Everyone is always talking about strikers and we needed someone who knew English football. Gayle has good movement and is a good finisher. The idea was to increase and to have more competition in attack. He’s a player who will impress. If he’s happy, he’s training well and he settles down quickly then he can score goals for us.”