Two years ago we brought both Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle to the club when they were playing for Premier League clubs.
And the two players have been successes at Newcastle, especially in the Championship season when between them they scored 39 goals and had 15 assists.
They did not have the same impact in the Premier League last season, but both players are still improving under Rafa and can do better in the coming season.
Both players are worth a lot of money to Championship clubs wanting to get promoted but Rafa will only sell if he got a big fee for them.
Dwight Gayle has been interviewed in the Chronicle, and he seemed to improve his all-around game this year when he played during Newcastle’s revival even though he didn’t score a lot of goals.
Dwight Gayle – can do better this season
Rafa seems to have confidence in the player, and with a little luck last season he could have improved on his 6 goals and 3 assists in 35 Premier League appearances.
The 27-year-old has settled in well on Tyneside with his family, and he seems to love playing for the club.
This is what Dwight said in the Chronicle when asked if he wanted to remain on Tyneside:
“Yeah, I’m loving it here. My family’s all set. For the time being, if the gaffer’s happy with me, I’m happy at to stay,”
“The opportunity’s there for me. The gaffer’s given me every opportunity to prove myself.”
“Last season, perhaps I didn’t get as many goals as I wanted to, but I was getting opportunities.”
“If I continue to get those opportunities, I will score goals. “Hopefully, I get the chance to prove myself again this season and I do myself proud.”
“Of course, we want to improve the team, and I understand that we’re going to bring in other players to improve the team, and the manager wants another striker.”
“It’s all part of football. It happens, and you have to prove to the gaffer that you’re the right person to start.”
“It was a great way to finish the season with a 3-0 win at home. We went away from it with a 10th-placed finish and everyone was happy.”
“It’s important that we kick on now, stay focused and start the season on the front foot.”
“Personally, I want as much game-time as I can get, and I want to improve on my scoring.”
“I do feel I didn’t get the recognition for my unselfish work last season, really. I was in the team for a lot of long periods.”
“The gaffer obviously has confidence in me to do a job, and hopefully I can continue that.”
“It was tough, the first game back. The fitness isn’t there yet. It’s one to tick off, and we’ve got to keep improving.”
“The fact that the boys are finding me in the positions I want to be in to score goals is important for me.”
“I just need to improve on my touch and finishing, and hopefully I can continue that through pre-season and towards the Premier League.”
Rafa wants to bring in at least one striker this summer, and it will probably be Salomon Rondon of West Brom, but Gayle can still get a lot of playing time next season and hopefully he can start knocking those goals in for us again.
He seems a player very suited to a Rafa Benitez team and last season we saw how he worked his socks off for the side.
It’s always great to see that from a Newcastle player.
We’d be surprised if either Gayle or Ritchie are sold this summer.