Who will lead the line on Monday?
Dwight Gayle’s season is yet to start properly and we’re nearly in December. He can’t have envisaged this after his excellent campaign with West Brom last season but apart from six minutes as a substitute, Gayle has not been involved due to injuries and the form of others.
He looked keen to make an impact at Benton as Newcastle’s fringe men hope for more opportunities over a busy December programme.
Joelinton has not had it easy in his first few weeks on Tyneside, with goalscoring difficulties and some problems settling into a new lifestyle, team and level of competition at Newcastle.
But Andy Carroll has acted as a mentor to the younger man, encouraging him and also offering him pointers on how to withstand the challenge of Premier League defenders. It’s a burgeoning friendship.
Carroll posted a training video of him skinning Joelinton – all in jest of course – but the word from behind-the-scenes is that Carroll is looking sharp at the moment.
Whether that will lead to a first start since returning isn’t clear – he’s still being managed – but he surely can’t be far away from that.