Introducing: The man that must step up in Dwight Gayle’s absence, Jacob Murphy

Introducing: The man that must step up in Dwight Gayle’s absence, Jacob Murphy

He must take his chance if it arises, mustn’t he? Following Dwight Gayle’s sending off against Aston Villa on Saturday, there is starting place in the front three up for grabs and, if Jacob Murphy is presented with the opportunity, he must step up and grasp it with two hands.

Murphy came on in the latter stages of the first leg of the play-off semi-final and was not able to make too much of an impact on the game as his side quickly conceded twice. That came before Gayle, who had started up top with Jay Rodriguez out of the left-wing, was given a second yellow card with just minutes to play.

In the second leg at the Hawthorns, with Gayle out, Rodriguez looks set to start down the middle flanked by Murphy and Matt Phillips and it is the former’s chance to shine.

Murphy struggled for consistent game time at Newcastle United this season, having amounted just three Premier League starts in the first half of the season. So, a move to West Brom seemed the right place for him to kick on.

The 24-year-old has shown his talent in glimpses, but not regularly enough for many of the Baggies faithful’s liking.

With Murphy or Kyle Edwards most suited to come in given Gayle’s absence, it seems that Murphy’s experience in high-pressure Championship scenarios may mean he gets the nod for the tie.

If he is to start, he must perform well and prove why he was brought in until the end of the season. It seems more than likely that he will return to the Magpies and either be used sporadically there or return to the Championship elsewhere for another loan.

So, if he is to move on then leaving the West Brom fans with something to shout about will be the best-case scenario. It will make it even sweeter for them if he can help inspire the side to the play-off final and overturn the one-goal deficit.

It is Murphy’s time to shine and he must step up to the plate and truly prove himself.

Baggies, are you backing Murphy to shine tonight? Join the discussion by commenting below… 

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