Newcastle striker Dwight Gayle does have a future at St. James' Park, according to new boss Eddie Howe.
Gayle spent the 2018/19 campaign with the Baggies, banging in 24 goals in 41 appearances.
"What I have seen is someone who can certainly score goals, is a brilliant finisher.
"I think he's got real competition, because I think Callum [Wilson] and Dwight are very similar players, in a sense that they both lead the line.
"So it’s great to have two experienced players in that position, and two players who certainly know where the goal is.
"So Dwight will have an important role."
Consider those rumours thoroughly quashed, then.
That said, no one will have been surprised that they surfaced in the first place, such has been Gayle's tendency to 'fall down the gap' between the Premier League and Championship.
Too good for the second tier but not quite good enough for the top flight? That has often seemed to be the case for the man Newcastle signed from Crystal Palace five years ago.
But Howe clearly feels that Gayle is an asset to his side's bid for survival — and might his comments suggest that the Magpies' January may be rather modest, at least in the attacking department?
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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and is also a keen follower of Borussia Dortmund. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...
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