Amidst the transfer shuffles as Rafa Benitez attempted to strengthen his side during the summer, Newcastle United opted to loan out two players to Championship clubs, with both considered surplus to their requirements in the Premier League. One may yet have a future at St James’ Park, while the other would appear to have burned his bridges with the Spanish coach.
Dwight Gayle – West Bromwich Albion
Gayle was undoubtedly one of the heroes in the Newcastle United side that won promotion, finishing the 2016-17 season with 23 goals in 32 games. Now he’s doing the same in a West Bromwich Albion side priced at 5/4 to win promotion in the Championship betting, having scored an impressive ten goals in 19 league appearances, making the 29-year-old joint-top scorer at the Baggies alongside Jay Rodriguez.
During the 2017-18 season Gayle was the second highest scorer at Newcastle United, scoring six goals in 37 appearances, behind Ayoze Perez who scored ten in the same amount of games, but just ahead of Joselu, who netted only four in 32 Premier League games.
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Nevertheless, when Benitez put his striking options under scrutiny, he opted for a loan switch that saw WBA get Gayle, with Salomon Rondon heading to St James’ Park in exchange. The Venezuelan forward proved to be very impressive of late after a shaky start getting himself back to full fitness.
Gayle has proven he could still offer Newcastle something in the future, even if only as a squad player, although the future of both players could be decided in the coming weeks, with reports that WBA want cash plus Gayle in exchange for Rondon to secure permanent deals for the pair in the January transfer window.
Jack Colback – Nottingham Forest
Local lad Jack Colback was born and raised in Newcastle, although he began his footballing career with arch-rivals Sunderland. Widely considered one of their best players, Black Cats fans were left fuming in the summer of 2014, when Colback turned down a new deal at the Stadium of Light, paving the way for a free transfer move to United.
During the same summer, the promising midfield ability of Colback earned him a call-up to the England squad, although he was forced to withdraw through injury. Nevertheless, he was a key player for Newcastle during the following three seasons, both in the Premier League and Championship, before Benitez decided the player was no longer in his plans.
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Such was the rift between manager and player that Colback was left out of the 2017-18 squad photo, forced to play and train with the Under-23 team before departing for Nottingham Forest on loan in January 2018 far from content at what he considered to be a lack of respect from the club he’d supported since childhood.
Any chance of a future for Colback at Newcastle was also well and truly torched when the player was scathingly critical of his treatment by Benitez. Unsurprisingly, last summer the 29-year-old midfielder headed straight back to Nottingham Forest for another loan, with the Championship club also retaining an option to make the move permanent.