Newcastle couldn’t afford an injury at striker or goalkeeper

Dwight Gayle of Newcastle United. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Dwight Gayle of Newcastle United. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images) /
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Newcastle United have two major injuries at important positions that lack quality depth.

As we move closer to the start of the 2020/21 Premier League season, Newcastle United have been bit by the injury bug in a big way. Martin Dubravka is out for at least the start of the season with a heel injury and Dwight Gayle is expected to miss months after suffering an ankle injury vs. Crewe Alexandra. While any injury ahead of the season would be a blow for the Magpies, these two injuries come at positions that they could not afford them at.

Dubravka has started every single Premier League match since moving to Newcastle United, initially on loan. He’s been the club’s most important player, often relied on to keep them in matches when the attack is struggling. Now, the club will need to turn to the error-prone Karl Darlow or Mark Gillespie, who has not been tested in the Premier League yet.

At striker, Gayle was the most productive player last season for the club while not being the primary man up top until the end of the season. Without him, it will likely be up to Joelinton or Andy Carroll. The Brazilian striker is coming off a massive flop of a first season with the club and Carroll is well beyond his prime and has struggled to stay healthy in recent years. Could Steve Bruce change his stance on Yoshinori Muto and try to keep the Japanese international instead of showing him the door?

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The Gayle injury should turn up the heat on the club’s pursuit of a new striker in the transfer window. A move for a back-up goalkeeper is much less likely. With these two crucial injuries, Newcastle will be trying to get by early in the season. They won’t have their best scoring threat at one end or their match-saving goalkeeper at the other end.