Speaking in Friday’s press conference, Eddie Howe revealed that Dwight Gayle is a “real leader” in the NUFC dressing room – despite his significant lack of game time.
The 32-year-old has only managed eight minutes of action – via two substitute appearances – since Howe became manager and is one of the favourites to be moved on in the summer transfer window.
However, Gayle clearly left a good impression on the 44-year-old manager, who describes him as “one of the best finishers” he’s ever worked with and a “very, very good” trainer.
Here’s what Howe had to say on the rarely-seen forward:
“Dwight’s been very, very good in his training performances, and, quite rightly, deserves recognition from me.
“He’s someone I respect greatly. He’s a real leader of the group behind the scenes.
“His training performances every day have been of the highest level, his professionalism has been of the highest level.”
Gayle only recently signed a three-year contract last summer but is expected to leave in the next transfer window, with the club looking for new striking options to add to their front-line of Callum Wilson and Chris Wood.
Despite this, Howe has suggested that he still could play a big role in our last few games of the season as we aim to secure our safety in the Premier League.
“He’s an incredible finisher, one of the best finishers I’ve every worked with without a doubt.
“He just needs to be ready for his moment, his chance. I firmly believe it will come.
“I trust Dwight, as well. I think he’ll deliver whatever I ask him to deliver. He will commit to that.
“You have your players that are playing, but the guys that aren’t playing, behind the scenes, are so important to the culture and feel of the group.
“Dwight’s been pivotal to keeping that very, very positive. He’s been a big reason why the team’s done so well.”