Ex-Sunderland striker Darren Bent backs rivals' frontman to shine in the Premier League
Newcastle United forgotten man Dwight Gayle has been backed to solve Steve Bruce’s Premier League goalscoring headaches – if given a run of games.
The striker, who spent last season out on loan at West Brom, missed the whole of pre-season through injury, with Bruce admitting the frontman remains some way off a first-team return.
But, when available, Gayle gets back to full fitness, former Sunderland and England striker Darren Bent believes he can prove his Premier League doubters wrong.
Bent told Football Insider: “A lot of people are saying he’s a very good Championship striker. I’m a firm believer he’s a very good striker – if he’s given games, he’ll score goals.”
Gayle was subject to an 11th hour deadline day bid from the Baggies but that offer – a reported £5million season-long loan plus a £15million purchase option – but Newcastle were reluctant sellers, with Bruce a big fan of the player.
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Bent says it would be wrong to label Gayle as just as a second tier problem solver.
“For me, I understand where he’s coming from because he doesn’t want to get tagged with that ‘Championship striker’ tag, that is the worst tag you can have,” said Bent.
“What you don’t want to keep doing is going to those clubs who are in the promotion race every season. You go to West Brom, they get promoted to the Premier League and then they send you away to one of the sides who have just been relegated.
“You don’t want to be tagged with that.”