Dwight Gayle says he’d love to get the chance to play alongside Aleksandar Mitrovic – but admits he can’t second-guess Rafa Benitez’s team selection.
Mitrovic made his first Championship appearance of the season against QPR on Tuesday night and scored in a stunning 6-0 win.
Gayle, the club’s new No 9, was an unused substitute at Loftus Road but could be recalled to the starting XI for tomorrow’s home game against Wolves.
Gayle feels he and Mitrovic could combine well up front, though Benitez also has Ayoze Perez and new signing Daryl Murphy in his thoughts.
Asked about Mitrovic, Gayle said: “He’s a great striker, great hold-up player.
“Me and him could work really well together. My runs off of his flick-ons would work well.
“But we’ve got some great different strikers here, and all different combinations would work well.
“I think the competition is perfect for the team. We could have to go differently against each team. The gaffer will pick the right players for each game.”
Benitez planned to hold a shooting competition between Gayle and Mitrovic to decide who would get the No 9 jersey this season.
But Mitrovic told Gayle that he should have the revered shirt on the eve of the campaign.
“Obviously, Mitro and I both wanted the No 9 shirt, so the manager said that (a shooting competition) was the easiest way to decide it,” said the 25-year-old, signed from Crystal Palace for £10million.
“But then Mitro, before we want out to training, just said ‘here, Dwight, you have it’. That was it, really. It was a really nice gesture – very mature of him – and a sign of togetherness.”