Okay, so I am not going to pretend I know who Dwight Gayle is or how good he is.
It’s been a meteoric rise for him I can say that much. From League Two to the Premiership just after 2 seasons. He had a very productive loan spell to Bishop’s Stortford and then the following went on loan to Peterborough and before signing a permanent deal with them in January.
You can look at the gamble Arsenal took with Carl Jenkinson when the signed him from Charlton. He had two loan spells one with Welling United on work experience and then with Eastbourne Borough. He made the transition well enough and is still learning.
This makes me think back to Ian Wright and how old he was when he got into top level of football and the struggles he went through to get there.
It will be interesting to see how well Gayle will adapt to the defences in the Premiership. He has pace, so will cause problems, no doubt Holloway will be looking for him to fill Zaha’s void. Though I have to question the amount of money they have spent on him. The transfer is rumoured to be around £4.5m, which would be a club record, with Dagenham & Redbridge getting £1m of that. It is a big fee for a player that is untested at a high level and although Holloway rates him, you still have to question the values of players now-a-days.
Obviously Gayle was extremely happy to have made the move saying on Palace’s official website “I’m ecstatic really, I just want to get pre-season started now,” adding. “The chance came and I had to grab it because I might not get another chance. To be playing in the Premier League from where I’ve come from is a big achievement really.
“I’m just really looking forward to it and hopefully I can take the opportunity with both hands and do well.”
Ian Holloway added on the club’s website: “I’m absolutely delighted. I was very annoyed when we didn’t get him last year, to be honest. But now it makes a huge statement for us and it proves that I don’t care where I get my people from. I believe it’s about how good you’re going to be, not just how good you are already.
“I think this fella has got Crystal Palace stamped all over him – the way he moves, the way he chases, the way he works. He’s hungry for success and I’m absolutely thrilled that after long conversations we’ve come up with, I think, a proper Palace player.
“He’s got an opportunity now to go and enjoy his football and I think he’ll score goals at Premier League level, I really do. He’s born to score goals.”
I do love Holloway. And I can’t wait for more of his press conferences this coming season. I could see him and Paolo clashing, maybe even Mourinho.
Either way, I am happy for Gayle and hope that this doesn’t turn out sour for him. Best of luck to him.