Noel Whelan has tipped Newcastle United to enter the transfer market for a new striker after Dwight Gayle’s injury setback.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Premier League hitman suggests the Magpies may have felt they could get by with their current forward options before the 29-year-old was sidelined.
With Gayle out, Bruce has Andy Carroll, Joelinton and Yoshinori Muto – who scored a combined total of two Premier League goals last season – as his senior centre-forward options.
Whelan believes that Newcastle may have thought that the former Crystal Palace star’s fine end-of-season form could have saved them from having to sign a new striker but that his injury may force a transfer U-turn on Tyneside.
Whelan told Football Insider: “It’s a big blow, somebody who probably wasn’t in Steve Bruce’s mind but managed to claw his way into it with the performances he put in at the end of the season.
“They might have thought: ‘Do you know what? We might not need to go out and buy another centre-forward. From what he’s shown us he can score goals in the Premier League.’
“Now there’s a case where they’ll be thinking they need to bolster, they need to strengthen. Carroll’s there, he scored a goal in pre-season but we know what injuries have happened Carroll as well. You are thinking you’ve got to cover in that position once again.”
Gayle scored all four of his Premier League goals last season in the club’s final eight games of the campaign.
Midfielder Jonjo Shelvey topped the goalscoring ranks on Tyneside with six league goals to his name.