By Darren Bent

28th Aug, 2020 | 5:00pm

'You know what?' - Exclusive: Bent suggests Bruce has wanted rid of Newcastle standout

Darren Bent believes that Steve Bruce would have wanted to get rid of Dwight Gayle at Newcastle United before his fine end of season form.

The former Aston Villa and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, believes the 29-year-old has managed to turn his career at St James’ Park around after a frustrating couple of years on Tyneside.

Gayle managed to net four goals in eight games following the Premier League lockdown after he failed to score once during the rest of the campaign.

The Telegraph report that the centre-forward, whose contract is set to expire next summer, is set to remain on Tyneside rather than push for a move away this year.

Bent believes that Bruce would have been thinking of letting the former Crystal Palace star leave but suggests his late-season form has turned his fortunes around.

Bent told Football Insider: “To be fair to Dwight he kind of stepped up, didn’t he? He scored a lot of goals, proved he can score goals at a Premier League level and played his way back into the side.

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“There was probably a time where Steve Bruce was probably thinking: ‘You know what? Enough’s enough, it’s time for him to go, let’s get someone else in,’ but because of the last games of the season, especially since lockdown, he seemed to score a few goals.

“I’m sure Steve Bruce has looked at it and think: ‘We might have something here, let’s not pull the trigger just yet, let’s wait.'” 

Gayle has scored a total of 33 goals in 93 appearances for the Magpies, with the majority of those coming during the club’s season in the Championship.

He also spent a season on loan at West Brom and netted 24 times for the Baggies.

In other Newcastle United news, a trio of Championship sides have launched moves to sign a Magpies forward.