Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce with Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo

Darren Bent claimed something must be going on behind-the-scenes regarding Newcastle United attacker Dwight Gayle.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Laura O’Leary, the former Sunderland striker revealed he was baffled that Gayle wasn’t getting much playing time.

Gayle has played just four times for Steve Bruce’s side this season and he has racked up only 43 minutes of action across those outings.

Bent explained that something must be going on behind-the-scenes as, given Gayle’s ability to score goals, it’s odd that he is hardly getting to kick a ball.

When asked if he is surprised that Gayle hasn’t been given more minutes, Bent told Football Insider: “Yeah, we’re not seeing what’s going on in training cause you would think goal-wise, he’d definitely be getting more minutes than he is.

“But he’s getting nothing, so something else must be going on.

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“I like Dwight Gayle, I think he’ll always score you goals, he’s sharp, he’s very very good, but for whatever reason…the manager doesn’t trust him and if the manager doesn’t trust you then you tend to struggle.

“So why isn’t he getting more minutes? I really don’t know.” 

The Magpies opted to loan Gayle out last season to Championship side West Bromwich Albion, where he scored 24 goals in 41 appearances.

The 29-year-old joined Newcastle from Crystal Palace in July 2016 and is contracted to stay at St James Park until 2021.

In other Newcastle United news, Danny Mills rips into a Newcastle player who makes his Worst Premier League XI.