This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
West Bromwich Albion have made a encouraging start to the 2019/20 season under manager Slaven Bilic.
Currently fourth in the Championship, the Baggies will unquestionably be looking to launch a sustained push for promotion over the coming months, after missing out earlier this year in the play-offs.
However, in order to have the best chance of securing a return to the Premier League, West Brom may need to resolve their attacking issues.
Whilst both Charlie Austin and Kenneth Zohore have shown promising signs during the opening weeks of the season, they have yet to produce the goods on a consistent basis.
Therefore, it is not at all surprising that the Baggies have been linked with a reunion with Dwight Gayle.
According to the Shields Gazette, Bilic is reportedly keen on securing the services of the Newcastle United forward during the January transfer window.
One of West Brom’s star performers last season, Gayle fired in 24 goals in the Championship before returning to the Magpies earlier this summer following the expiry of his loan deal.
Taking this into consideration, would a move for the 28-year-old be a wise choice to make?
“I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m not sure they need him.
“When the Baggies signed Charlie Austin, he was the replacement for Gayle and whilst he hasn’t started brilliantly, he will pick up as the season progresses.
“With Bilic only playing one up-front, the pair wouldn’t play together, and Albion have Kenneth Zohore who will provide them with a plan B.
“So the manager has to have faith that they will come good when it matters, something both strikers have done in the past for other clubs.
“Of course, bringing in someone like Gayle, who is proven at this level, would not be a bad thing.
“But as things stand, Bilic will have more pressing positions to address in the New Year to ensure his side are capable of finishing in the the top two.”
“I believe this would be a wise move for the Baggies, with the West Midlands-based outfit currently lacking a consistent goal scorer at Championship level.
“Neither Zohore or Austin have been prolific of late, meaning that at present, Bilic lacks the firepower needed to achieve promotion.
“Gayle is also a player who would provide a different option to what they already have at the Hawthorns as he likes to run in behind opposition defences.
“Lastly, I believe that it would open up the possibility for Bilic to experiment with two up-front, something he has yet do this season due to the fact that he has opted to use a 4-2-3-1 formation.”
“This’d be a fantastic addition.
“Gayle was phenomenal for the Baggies last season, scoring 24 goals providing eight assist and his Championship record speaks for itself.
“Neither Zohore or Austin have really hit the ground running and it looks as if Bilic’s squad could use some attacking reinforcements.
“A partnership of Austin and Gayle could be absolutely lethal and would surely give West Brom one of the most dangerous forward lines in the division.
“Fitness could be an issue, however, as the striker is currently still recovering from a calf injury that he suffered earlier this season.”