Newcastle's Dwight Gayle deal imminent as Townsend heads in the opposite direction

Gayle deal edges closer from Crystal Palace with Townsend almost certain to replace him

Newcastle's Dwight Gayle deal imminent as Townsend heads in the opposite direction
Gayle scores against NUFC in a 3-3 at St James Park (Photo: chroniclelive.co.uk)

Newcastle United look to have completed the signing of Crystal Palace forward, Dwight Gayle as a deal becomes imminent.

Gayle travelled up to the North East on Wednesday for his United medical as the clubs reached a reported £10million agreement for the striker.

The £10 million that Palace have earned from the Gayle transfer has apparently been used to activate Andros Townsend’s relegation release clause, which will see him make the switch to Selhurst Park.

The English striker will become Newcastle's second signing of the summer after United beat off a host of clubs to sign Belgium goalkeeper, Matz Sels on Wednesday. 

Gayle equals goals

There can be no complaints on Gayle when it comes to his goal scoring record. He has notched up an impressive 64 goals in 113 starts, which is an average of a goal every 0.41 games.

Gayle scored 26 goals in 74 appearances for The Eagles, and despite never cementing his place in the first-team in South London, Gayle still finished as Palace’s top scorer in each of the past three seasons.

Problem solved for The Geordies?

In past campaigns, Newcastle have struggled to find the net. The problem has stretched back to far as Demba Ba leaving the club as United failed suffered woes in front of goal.

Apart from Papiss Cisse in the 2013/2014 season, no permanent Newcastle striker has reached the 10 goal mark since Ba. Loic Remy did come in on a season long loan from QPR for the 2013-2014 season where he scored 14 goals, but the Magpies couldn't convince him to sign permanently.

The Magpies have failed to sign a permanent goal scorer since Ba (Photo: skysports.com)
The Magpies have failed to sign a permanent goal scorer since Ba (Photo: skysports.com)

Last season, the Toon Army’s hopes of goals rested on the Premier League new-comer Aleksander Mitrovic from the Belgian Pro League, but his nine goals couldn’t keep Newcastle in the Premier League

Closer to home

The problem in the transfer market recently has been that Newcastle were only content on signing players from overseas, as they believed that’s where the bargains lay.

Ba was signed from West Ham after proving himself in the Premier League. In the seasons that Ba was at the club, United finished fifth and then were in a strong position in the league before he left for Chelsea in January 2013.

For Newcastle fans, they will be delighted that a striker with a proven track record in England has been brought in. Of course, they wont be competing for Europe this season, but if Gayle reaches the heights as Ba, he will almost certainly fire them back to the Premier League.

It was good while it lasted

Townsend will depart after just six months on Tyneside. Once clubs learned that Townsend had a relegation release clause, it was always going to be hard for Newcastle to keep a hold of the England international.

The winger was one of the bright sparks of Newcastle’s fight to beat the drop, when he quickly became a fans' favourite. His performances weren’t just counted by Newcastle fans, ex-England manager Roy Hodgson recalled Townsend to the England set up where he just missed out on the Euro 2016 squad.

It was reported a few weeks ago that Townsend favoured a Newcastle stay but it looks like the chance to play Premier League football on a regular basis was too hard to turn down. After all, it is something he was starved of at his former club Tottenham Hotspur.

The resignation of Hodgson as England manager could have played a huge part. Townsend will want to win back a regular place in the England squad. Under the new manager, he may find it hard to impress if he is playing Championship football.

As much as Townsend loved his time on Tyneside, at the tender age of 24-year-old, playing Championship football may be too much of a risk - though Gayle's capture softens the blow of his departure, if not betters it.