If Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Norwich City taught Steve Bruce anything, it will have been that his side need something more up front.
Joelinton led the line at Carrow Road, and aside from spurning a glorious opportunity to give his side the lead with a point blank header, the Brazilian never really looked like a threat.
In fairness to him, that was predominantly because he was left isolated for large spells by Miguel Almiron, who was dropping deep more often and less effectively than he should have been.
And things only got worse when Joelinton was substituted with a hip injury.
The Magpies did score late on, but no thanks to Yoshinori Muto who, as it stands, is the only fit striker the Toon Army have at their disposal.
So it makes sense that Bruce has started talking up another one of his options, Dwight Gayle.
The 28-year-old is out injured at the moment, but the fact that he has stayed on Tyneside, as opposed to going out on loan again, feels significant.
And the way Bruce is talking, he could have a big part to play this season.
As quoted by the Shields Gazette, he said: “I said to the lad I’ve tried to buy him wherever I have been, but I have never been able to afford him.
“He’s the best in the Championship, even last year he scored 24 times, got sent off in the semi-final and he got West Brom close. I hope he can contribute, because he is capable of scoring.”
Bruce is right about one thing: Gayle is a goalscorer.
The hitman may have hit 24 goals in the Championship for West Brom last term, but he also managed to do it at a rate of 2.4 shots per game, as per Whoscored.
In short, he is a finisher with a lethal streak and a tendency to shoot on sight.
If Newcastle had had somebody like that yesterday, maybe they wouldn’t have suffered such a sobering blow.
This article was originally posted here