Derby boss Frank Lampard has leapt to the defence of Newcastle manager, Rafa Benitez, after criticism from a well-known Sky Sports pundit over his handling of the Dwight Gayle loan deal.
Former Spurs midfielder Jamie Redknapp had previously blasted Benitez for his decision to allow Gayle to leave the club on a loan deal to Championship side West Brom.
Writing in his column for the Daily Mail, Redknapp stated, ‘Why on earth did Newcastle let Dwight Gayle go on loan to West Brom? While his replacement Salomon Rondon has not scored in the league, Gayle has eight goals in his last 10 league games.
‘Newcastle struggled in front of goal once again in their home defeat by Brighton and the players must be running out of patience with Rafa Benitez.’
Gayle has been in prolific form for the Baggies this season, scoring eight goals already, and is one of the main reasons as to why Darren Moore’s side are challenging for the Championship title.
But Derby boss Frank Lampard has defended the Newcastle manager’s decision to let the striker leave the club in the summer in an exchange deal for Salomon Rondon, who is yet to find the back of the net for Benitez’s side.
Speaking ahead of his team’s clash with Gayle’s West Brom side, Lampard admitted, ‘I haven’t thought about it that much. This is the nature of the transfer market and players, whether or not you are getting minutes for the individual, or does he want to go and play somewhere and get some games.
‘If he does, then he asks the question, and if the club have other players, that’s their decision.
‘All I do know is that he’s a striker who has scored goals throughout his career in any division he has played in, and to have scored them regularly in the Premier League means that he is going to be a threat for us in the Championship.’
It certainly surprised me when I first saw the news that Gayle was heading out on loan to West Brom in an exchange deal, but the issue with the deal here is that Rondon hasn’t scored for Newcastle this season.
If Rondon was scoring on a weekly basis, then there would be no criticism to be had from Redknapp, as Newcastle fans will freely admit that it will come as no surprise to see Gayle scoring regular goals in a West Brom team that are the league’s top goalscorers.