Michael Owen feels Rafael Benitez may regret offloading Gayle and Mitrovic

Liverpool legend-turned-pundit Michael Owen believes Rafael Benitez may regret offloading the likes of Dwight Gayle and Aleksandar Mitrovic during last summer’s transfer window. The Magpies had a genuine concern with their goalscoring last campaign and this saw them act upon the cause this term with an overhaul of their striking department.

Salomon Rondon and Yoshinori Muto were recruited to reinforce the attack front with the former arriving on a swap-loan agreement including Gayle but the pair have since struggled to live up to their expectations. Speaking on BBC 5 Live Sport, Owen acknowledged that his former side are not playing well and they may end up regretting the decision to let go of Gayle and Mitrovic, who have impressed for West Bromwich Albion and Fulham respectively this term.

Despite this, “Owen indicated that the Magpies were in a similar position during the previous campaign and the club must place their trust on Benitez to transform their fortunes once more,“ he said: “They’re not playing well, they’re not scoring goals, they’ve lost a couple of players who did score goals. That’s probably biting Rafa in the backside a little bit. But you’d have to say that, they had a really poor start to the season last season and “they gradually got themselves“ out of it. They got to a respectable position, so you have to trust Rafa to do that again.”

Newcastle United are currently one of two teams including Huddersfield Town yet to win after the opening 10 league matches. However, they have been unfortunate to come against each of the previous season’s top-six and hopefully, their fortunes can change against the mid-table teams during the forthcoming months. The Magpies are scheduled to entertain Javi Gracia’s Watford in this weekend’s league meeting at St James Park. Watford are currently 16 points ahead of their Tyneside counterparts.