For West Brom and Aston Villa, it has not been a great nor terrible start to the new Championship season.
The Midland clubs sit in 8th and 12th place respectively in the table, but are only one and two points below the play-off spots.
Darren Moore and Steve Bruce, though, will be desperate for the their teams to quickly improve their league positions, and both managers will be looking towards their new strikers to help do so.
Moore now has Dwight Gayle to call upon following his arrival from Newcastle in a swap deal with Salomon Rondon, while Abraham linked up with Bruce at the end of the loan window to give the Villa boss another option up front.
But which of the two is more likely to inspire their side to a promotion assault?
Gayle can be pleased with his start to the new campaign having scored three goals in six league appearances so far.
And the 27-year-old’s last season in the Championship makes for good reading. In Newcastle’s 2016/17 title triumph, Gayle hit the back of the net on 23 occasions to help his side return to English football’s top flight, and he looks on course to hit those kind of figures again.
For whatever reason, it has not quite worked out for Gayle in the Premier League with Newcastle and Crystal Palace. However, the way he would run in behind and down the channels with his pace, more often than not, caused problems for Premier League defenders.
Compared to Rondon — who headed to St. James’ Park as part of the deal that saw Gayle arrive at the Hawthorns — Gayle may not be as complete.
The Venezuelan striker is superior at holding up the ball and in the air and overall, is a forward that no doubt would have thrived in the Championship.
Nevertheless, in Gayle, West Brom have a No.9 capable of scoring 20 plus and leading a promotion charge.
TT Grade: B
With Alvaro Morata continuing to misfire and doubts about Olivier Giroud’s future, Abraham would have gone into the new season with Chelsea thinking he had a serious shot at breaking into the first team.
That, however, was not the case and the 20-year-old now finds himself playing his football at Villa Park, which is great news for Bruce.
Like Gayle, during his recent stint in the Championship, Abraham also managed to register 23 goals for Bristol City and has come a long way since then.
The Chelsea youth product managed to gain a season of Premier League experience with Swansea City while becoming an England international in the process.
Abraham can still look pretty raw at times, which is understandable given his age. His hold-up play, in particular, is something that needs to be worked on if he is to become a top striker.
Abraham, though, is still a very promising forward who will improve Aston Villa drastically up front.
TT Grade: B+
Both Gayle and Abraham are clever acquisitions with West Brom doing extremely well to get the former from Newcastle following their capture of Rondon.
Quite frankly, the pair’s identical goal records from the 2016/17 Championship season makes it difficult to differentiate and predict who will finish the campaign with more goals to their name even with Gayle’s head start.
With that being said, considering Abraham was just making the step up from youth football as an 18-year-old when his goal-scoring heroics at Bristol City started to take shape, it is scary to imagine what he could now accomplish as a more experienced player.
Furthermore, Abraham edges this one in the battle of the two new Midland No.9s.
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