Noel Whelan has urged Leeds United to pull out all the stops to land Newcastle United striker Dwight Gayle this summer.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-United front man is convinced Gayle would be “the perfect signing” for his former club as they look to go one better next season and win promotion.
Leeds finished third in this season’s Championship but their promotion bid was shattered on Wednesday night when they suffered play-off semi-final heartache against Derby County.
Whelan believes the club’s top summer target should be a prolific goalscorer and hailed Gayle, who spent this season on loan at West Brom, as the ideal recruit.
“You need a prolific goalscorer to get promotion and that is what Leeds are crying out for,” the pundit explained. “Look at all the missed chances this season, the brilliant approach play that was ruined by powderpuff finishing.
“Kemar Roofe and Patrick Bamford are both good strikers but they’re not going to get you 25 a season, like [Teemu] Pukki did for Norwich and Billy Sharp did at Sheffield United.
“The perfect signing would be Dwight Gayle. He’s a prolific scorer and proven in the Championship. Leeds can win promotion if they get him.”
Gayle’s future is up in the air after West Brom suffered their own play-off devastation earlier this week.
He is heading back to parent club Newcastle United, where he has a contract that runs until 2021 but found himself surplus to requirements after being loaned out in exchange for Salomon Rondon.
Gayle, 28, has an exceptional record in the Championship, scoring 24 goals from 41 matches for Albion this season as well as 23 goals in 32 games in Newcastle’s successful promotion campaign two years ago.