Date: 5th July 2019 at 8:00am
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EXCLUSIVE

Darren Bent has urged Aston Villa to try and sign Newcastle United striker Dwight Gayle this summer.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the prolific ex-Villa forward explained why he is a big admirer of Gayle, who was frozen out by ex-manager Rafael Benitez and spent last season on loan at West Brom in the Championship.

The Midlands giants have already made a statement of intent in the window by paying a club-record £22million for attacker Wesley Moraes as well as £11million rising to £17million for Southampton left-back Matt Targett.

Asked by Football Insider which striker Villa should target to replace the goals of 2018-19 loanee Tammy Abraham, who has returned to Chelsea, Bent looked towards the north-east.

“Rondon impressed me, he did,” Bent said. “You know who I’d go for actually? Dwight Gayle, because I just think to myself whenever he gets a run in any team he’s played in, in any division, he scores goals but for whatever reason he gets in the Premier League, he might play five games, score three or four goals and then the manager will take him out and he won’t play again for a while.

“If you’re going to sign someone like a Dwight Gayle you’ve got to play him week in, week out and he’s maybe one I’d look at. If there’s an opportunity there maybe I’d maybe look there to try and get him in.”

Gayle was outstanding for West Brom last season, scoring 24 goals in 41 matches as they narrowly failed to secure promotion to the Premier League, with their campaign ending in play-off defeat to rivals Villa.

He has two years remaining on his contract at Newcastle, where ex-boss Benitez had been willing to offload him this summer after demoting him down the pecking order at St James’ Park.

In other Aston Villa news, it can be REVEALED that the club have made a move to sign a newly-available Premier League player with a great record in the top flight.