Noel Whelan believes Leeds should make a move for Dwight Gayle if they end up selling Kemar Roofe.
Speaking to Football Insider, the former Leeds man suggested that the 28-year-old is good enough to win promotion for Leeds, hinting that he could be the key to success after coming so close last season.
Kemar Roofe has been the subject of recent transfer speculation. He only has a year remaining on his deal and has not yet opened talks with the club over a renewal, which has opened the door for Rangers to show an interest.
Talking to Football Insider, Whelan said:
“Dwight Gayle would be a perfect signing for Leeds, him and Helder Costa together would be absolutely brilliant. Hopefully there is a plan in place, as Gayle can win us promotion, he’s that good.
“There is a possibility of losing Roofe, it’s not good business to lose a key player for £5million at a decent age. We are in a pickle if we lose him. We would have to spend more than £5million to get a proven goalscorer, or go into the loan market and use that money on the loan fee and wages.”
Gayle was in fine form last season, firing 24 times for West Brom – one of which was in the play-offs – as he finished the division’s fourth-highest goal scorer.
Leeds missed a natural goalscorer last season, Roofe’s 15 goals made him their highest scorer so Gayle would be an upgrade on that front.
He was surplus to requirements under Rafa Benitez but that could change under the new manager. Even if the club remains willing to sell Leeds could find his £20m asking price a stumbling block.
Gayle would be a fantastic signing for Leeds and although he is a different kind of player to Roofe he would be a great replacement for him should he depart.
The Newcastle forward has always scored goals at Championship level and that wouldn’t change under Bielsa. All promotion-chasing teams need a natural goalscorer and Gayle could be the missing link for Leeds.
Whelan is correct when he suggests Gayle could be the difference in getting promoted or not, and if Leeds sell a key player they will need to make a statement signing to the fans and the rest of the division.