COMMENT by Amir Mir

Football Insider names the Newcastle player of the year for 2016

Dwight Gayle is Newcastle’s player of the year, despite only playing 20 games for the club following his £12 million summer transfer.

The 26-year-old striker stands head and shoulders above the rest for his prolific goalscoring run in the Championship, which is set to guide Rafa Benitez’ side back to the promise land.

Not many players standout during a relegation season and the same applies for the north east outfit after they dropped down to the second tier in May.

However since then, former Real Madrid boss Benitez has guided them to top of the tree and former Crystal Palace man Gayle has been a key figure behind that.

Gayle has scored 17 goals in 18 league games this season, which has resulted in the Magpies winning 16 of their 22 games – they only won nine out 38 games in the Premier League.

Additionally, he has scored two or more goals in a game on six occasions this season, including scoring five goals against promotion chasers Leeds and Norwich.

He has shown numerous signs that he possesses Premier League quality, from his pace to his movement in the final third, all of which have contributed in him being the top scorer in England’s second division.

Benitez will be hoping his star striker can take his goalscoring form into the new year as he aims for instant promotion.

In other Newcastle news, supporters on Twitter react with panic as key man sidelined for five matches.