Alexander Isak fitness warning ahead of Newcastle United v Crystal Palace

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Alexander Isak is pushing for a recall to Newcastle United starting XI.

Eddie Howe has fired an Alexander Isak fitness warning ahead of Newcastle United’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace.

The Magpies’ club-record signing scored his first goal since returning from a long-term thigh injury with an 89th-minute winner against Fulham last Sunday.

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And having started against Sheffield Wednesday a fortnight ago and made a substitute appearance versus Leicester City, Isak is pushing for a recall to the starting XI.

Howe, however, is proceeding with caution to ensure the 23-year-old remains injury free during a big second half of the campaign for United.

“He’s trained really well this week, I think he’s been excellent,” Howe told reporters ahead of the trip to Selhurst Park.

Newcastle United striker Alexander Isak. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Newcastle United striker Alexander Isak. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Newcastle United striker Alexander Isak. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) | Getty Images

“It’s a case for me to understand his recent history in terms of the length of time he’s been out and trying to build his training because he’s not really done too much training with the team.

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“With the amount of games we’ve had, we’ve had fragmented training sessions so it’s been really good this week to get some good work in.”

The Sweden international was signed by Howe to be the focal point of Newcastle’s attack but he could be asked to play in another position with Callum Wilson a strong option.

Indeed, the pair linked up against Fulham last weekend with Wilson providing the assist for Isak’s late winner.

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“We can possibly play Alex in a number of positions,” Howe said. “He can play as an out-an-out No.9 or as a second striker, like he did against Fulham. Or he can play wide but that probably wouldn’t be his favoured position.

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“That versatility is one of the things that attracted us to him in the first place. I was just really pleased with him last week, he energised the group and made a big difference. Of course, he scored the goal which was a brilliant goal for him and one we hope can really kick him on.”

Howe added: “The reason we brought him in was because we really believe in him and the qualities he has. I believe he is a goalscorer and a goal creator.

“He had a huge impact coming off the bench last week by chasing the dynamic of our play, bringing a real speed and athleticism and technical ability to the front line.”

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