Newcastle officially appointed Eddie Howe as the club’s new manager earlier this month and he is now tasked with hauling the side out of the relegation zone.
The Magpies are currently 19th in the Premier League table and are the only team in the entire division yet to win a match, with 20th-placed Norwich even on one win.
A key part of his plan to evade relegation could be the January window when he could need to make major decisions on transfers in and out of St. James’ Park.
Get him gone
One player who find themselves on the chopping block in the January window is outcast centre-forward Dwight Gayle.
Steve Bruce handed him three appearances earlier this season, all of which came as a substitute, and he has been unable to prove that he is a better option than Callum Wilson at the top end of the pitch. He also played 18 times last season and scored one goal for the club in the top-flight.
In the 2020/21 campaign, he lost a whopping 61% of his duels on the pitch and missed five ‘big chances’. This shows that he did have the service required to build on his solitary goal but his finishing was not up to the desired standard and that could be why his role has been reduced this term.
“My first reaction was that it was a dive. The referee gets that absolutely spot on.
“Why would he go down there? There is no need. You have the chance to go on and pull the trigger. It is just cheating. I’m still so angry with Dwight Gayle – I really am. Why did he dive? Why didn’t he take the chance to shoot?”
Following PIF’s takeover of the club, a number of transfer links have emerged suggesting Newcastle want to sign a new striker in January. Dusan Vlahovic, Giovanni Simeone, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are just a few of the names touted with a switch to St. James’ Park in the winter window, which could leave Gayle on very thin ice.
Therefore, Howe must ruthlessly axe the £32k-per-week dud in January and allow him to leave on a permanent deal, replacing him with a fresh addition to the squad. His statistics since the start of last season suggest that he does not have the quality to make a significant impact for Howe’s team in the coming months to help them avoid relegation and that could spell the end of his career on Tyneside.