Dwight Gayle has been voted the Sky Bet Championship PFA Fans’ Player of the Month for October over fellow nominees Gary Hooper, Peter Whittingham, Paul Gallagher, Sam Baldock and Massimo Luongo.
The shortlist was chosen by Sky Sports pundits Paul Merson, Ian Holloway, Peter Beagrie, Mike Riley and Malcolm Clarke.
The 26-year-old forward has been in sensational form all season but October has shown the player has grown in confidence with his run of form being ignited by a hat-trick against Norwich at the end of September.
With four goals and two Man of the Match awards in October over the four matches played, it is clear why the fans have made Gayle the winner in the Championship vote. The player has forced Aleksander Mitrovic to sit on the bench as backup and there is some debate as to who should now spearhead the Newcastle attack as first choice.
The in-form Gayle joined the Magpies from Crystal Palace in the summer where he has hit the ground running, scoring 11 in 12 appearances and helping to put Newcastle top of the league as they aim for promotion at the first time of asking. Gayle was born in Walthamstow and is a product of the Arsenal youth system although never played in the senior squad.
Rafa Benitez likes the fact that he has two in-form strikers to call on:
“If they (Gayle and Mitrovic) score two goals, every time one of them plays, I’m not too worried about playing one at a time…
“He (Mitrovic) is doing well, he is working hard and when he is not playing he’s working even harder.
“Against Preston, he was doing really well and he was doing what he has to do – he will improve, he will grow.
“When Gayle was scoring goals it is more difficult for a young player, a young striker, when you are not in the team.”