Derby County have signed experienced striker Dwight Gayle for the remainder of the 2023/24 Sky Bet League One season.

Gayle, who is 34, has penned a contract which will run until the campaign’s conclusion.

The striker has joined the Rams as a free agent after leaving Sky Bet Championship side Stoke City prior to the closure of the transfer window earlier this month.

Gayle has almost 150 goals to his name in club football from nearly 400 appearances, which have mainly come in the Premier League and Championship, and will provide another welcome option for Head Coach Paul Warne to call upon in the final third in the closing stages of the season.

Dwight Gayle In Profile

London-born Gayle was in the Arsenal academy as a youngster but left the Gunners prior to becoming a teenager. He continued to play football alongside his education and eventually moved into the semi-professional game in the non-league circuit in Essex and regularly found the back of the net for Ryan FC and Stansted FC.

Gayle joined then Sky Bet League Two side Dagenham & Redbridge in the summer of 2011 and was immediately loaned to National League North side Bishop's Stortford for the 2011/12 season. He netted 29 league goals, as well as registering several more in cup competitions to take his return to over 40.

He returned to Dagenham for the 2012/13 campaign and his excellent form, scoring seven times in 20 outings, saw him quickly snapped up by Championship side Peterborough United. He scored 13 times in 29 appearances and his displays quickly saw him step up to the Premier League with Crystal Palace for a then club-record £4.5 million fee in the summer of 2013.

Gayle spent three seasons at Selhurst Park and netted a healthy return of 25 goals in 74 outings at the highest level for the Eagles. He was also a member of the Palace side which reached the Emirates FA Cup Final in 2015/16 and he featured in the showpiece event itself as a substitute in their defeat to Manchester United.

The striker moved back down to the Championship with Newcastle United in time for the start of the 2016/17 season and he netted 23 goals in 34 appearances as the Magpies returned to the top-flight at the first time of asking as title-winners. His form saw him named in the PFA and EFL’s respective Championship Team of the Season line-ups.

He remained with Newcastle for six full seasons, five of which were in the Premier League, and he also had a season back in the Championship during a loan at West Bromwich Albion in the 2018/19 campaign. He scored 24 goals in 41 appearances for the Baggies as they reached the play-offs, losing out in the semi-finals to eventual winners Aston Villa.

Gayle joined Stoke City ahead of the 2022/23 season in the Championship and was a regular in their side last term. He went on to make a handful of appearances in the current campaign before ending his contract early a few weeks ago. His last appearance came off the bench in the Potters’ 0-0 draw with Ipswich Town on New Year’s Day.

In total, Gayle has made 389 appearances in club football with a return of 147 goals.