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“There’s two sides to this” – Stoke City fan pundit weighs up Dwight Gayle selection decision pre-Millwall

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This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Terrace Talk’ series, which provides personal opinions from our FLW Fan Pundits regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…

FLW’s Stoke City fan pundit Ben Rowley believes there could be a place for Dwight Gayle in Michael O’Neill’s side for the clash with Millwall.

The Potters return to competitive action this Saturday when they face a trip to London to take on Gary Rowett’s side.

Gayle has arrived as one of the newest additions to the team having departed Newcastle United.

The forward has excelled in the Championship in the past, proving to be a consistent goal scorer at this level.

But he has struggled to take the leap to the Premier League, barely featuring for the Magpies over the last three seasons.

It is these two contrasts in fortune that this Stoke fan is considering when deciding whether he thinks Gayle should play a role in Saturday’s trip to the Den.

“So there’s two sides to this,” Rowley told Football League World.

“On the one hand, Dwight Gayle is a proven Championship goal scorer, he’s one of the best ever in the Championship per minutes that he’s played.

“But on the other hand, he’s not played regularly for about three years now and he’s 32.

“And we have options such as Jacob Brown, Tyreese Campbell, D’Margio Wright-Phillips who may be better suited to play against a Millwall team where we’re likely going to have to have some pace and press.

“So, I think it’s a difficult one.

“I think if he was to play, he’d definitely have to play in the front two along with one of Brown or Campbell, and yes I think we’re going to need a game where we’re going to need a poacher so I would start him.

“But I wouldn’t be surprised to see him come off the bench and make an impact instead.”

Quiz: Can you remember the score the last time Stoke City played at these 26 stadiums?

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Cardiff City Stadium - Cardiff City

Gayle has scored five league goals since returning to Newcastle from his loan stint at West Brom.

He failed to score in 2021-22, only featuring eight times in the Premier League with all of those appearances coming from the bench.

A fresh start at Stoke could be just what he needs to get his career back on track, with O’Neill’s side hoping to improve on their 14th place finish last campaign.

The Verdict

Gayle should prove to be a really good signing for Stoke given his impressive goal record at this level.

But going straight into the starting lineup this weekend may prove a step too soon as the striker looks to get back up to full fitness.

He could be best used coming off the bench as he could prove quite the difference maker if the game is still close coming into the dying minutes of the match.

It will be an interesting decision for O’Neill to make, with all eyes going towards the Stoke lineup reveal at 2pm on Saturday.


ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: “There’s two sides to this” – Stoke City fan pundit weighs up Dwight Gayle selection decision pre-Millwall

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