Championship

Transfer Battle: Dwight Gayle vs Kemar Roofe

West Brom will be hoping to end their bad run of form and return to the Championship play-off spots when they take on leaders Leeds United at the Hawthorns on Saturday afternoon.

The Baggies have not won any of their last four games, and manager Darren Moore will now be hoping an individual such as Dwight Gayle will be able to inspire his side to victory.

As for Leeds, West Brom youth product Kemar Roofe is likely to be the danger man on the day for Marcelo Bielsa’s men with the 25-year-old grabbing a goal on his last outing.

With that in mind, how do the two forwards match up?

Dwight Gayle

Gayle has made a good start to life in the Championship at West Brom following his loan arrival from Newcastle United over the summer.

In 13 league appearances, the 28-year-old has managed to find the back of the net on eight occasions and should be able to hit the 20-goal mark by the end of the season, which would bode well for his team’s chances of promotion.

During his time in the Premier League with both Newcastle and Crystal Palace, Gayle largely struggled. But the centre-forward is once again showing how effective he can be in the Championship following his previous stint (2016/17) where he scored 23 goals.

With his ability to run in behind defenders thanks to his abundance of pace and proficiency in front of goal, West Brom should be up there come the end of the campaign.

TT Grade: B

Kemar Roofe

While Gayle was able to make a quick start at West Brom, Roofe initially struggled during his early days as a Leeds player.

The former Oxford United man only managed to score three goals in 42 Championship appearances during his debut campaign at Elland Road.

However, Roofe has since drastically improved, especially under Bielsa, a coach who the Leeds forward could not wait to work with. And his rapidly increasing to the importance to the team is reflected in his popularity amongst the Leeds faithful who simply cannot get enough of their star striker.

“One of my favourite players is Alexis Sanchez so as soon as I found out he [Bielsa] was the Chile head coach I was excited,” Roofe told Sky Sports back in August. “His style and tactics suit the strengths of a lot of our players. We’re not the biggest side so what’s the point in playing long balls?”

All in all, Roofe is starting to develop into a dangerous No.9 under Bielsa and will continue to play a huge part in Leeds’ quest for Premier League promotion as the season progresses.

TT Grade: B-

TT Verdict:

Roofe has been in red-hot form this season and has only gone from strength to strength since Bielsa’s arrival at Elland Road.

And with seven Championship goals to his name so far this campaign, Roofe is well on course to beating his highest tally (11) in the division.

However, out of Roofe and Gayle, the latter is the more prolific striker with greater experience.

Therefore, the West Brom man edges this battle of Championship centre-forwards.

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