Former West Bromwich Albion forward Kevin Phillips has urged Valerien Ismael to pursue Newcastle United striker Dwight Gayle as a potential target to bring to The Hawthorns, speaking in an interview with West Brom News.
Gayle, 31, is a former Baggie, arriving from current club Newcastle on a season-long loan deal during the 2018/19 campaign and proving to be a key asset in his short stay in the West Midlands.
He scored 23 goals and recorded eight assists in 39 Championship appearances during that season, but has failed to replicate this during the following two seasons at St James’ Park, bagging just five goals in 38 Premier League games during the 2019/20 and 2020/21 campaigns.
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The 31-year-old has been notoriously known for thriving in the second tier despite not being able to adapt fully to the Premier League, doing well in the Championship at Peterborough United, Newcastle United and West Brom during his career, so his season-long loan with the latter was no fluke.
Despite appearing in the Carabao Cup for Steve Bruce’s side against Burnley on Wednesday night, he is yet to make a single top-flight appearance so far this season and with this, the Tyneside club could potentially be open to a loan or permanent move for him to free up wages and a first-team place.
Ex-West Brom man Kevin Phillips believes the Newcastle man would be a shrewd acquisition for Valerien Ismael’s side and also went on to state his desire to see the club bring in a few more players on top of Gayle, saying to West Brom News: “I think they’re covered at striker now, but if they can get Gayle in that would be brilliant.
“I don’t think that will happen, though.
“Possibly (Trevoh) Chalobah as well. A midfield player and maybe, maybe, another wide player. We’ve got Matty Phillips but perhaps another wide player would be useful.
“I think that midfield area is key.”
You can’t blame Kevin Phillips for wanting to see as much depth in the West Bromwich Albion side as possible.
Although he stated his wish to potentially see another midfield player come in, Jayson Molumby’s arrival is likely to provide them with the Romaine Sawyers replacement they needed, and the addition of Trevoh Chalobah will help to cover both the midfielder area and the centre-back position.
This is why getting the Chelsea man in on loan would be such a useful addition to the Baggies after missing out on him earlier in the summer.
Gayle could also be a useful addition although it remains to be seen whether he would be able to adapt to Ismael’s system – and it certainly wouldn’t hurt to add another winger.
However, they already have the likes of Callum Robinson and Karlan Grant who can also play out wide as well as in the middle, with Matt Phillips a good first-team option to have and Adam Reach providing depth.
They do need to keep an eye on their wage bill as well, even with Matheus Pereira’s departure, so Chalobah and a new forward will probably be the West Midlands side’s priority before the window closes.
There will always be time to strengthen further in January.