Best since Alan Shearer? How Alexander Isak stacks up vs former Newcastle United strikers

An illustrious list of Newcastle United strikers - past and present An illustrious list of Newcastle United strikers - past and present
An illustrious list of Newcastle United strikers - past and present | National World
Alexander Isak is good - very good - but how does he stack up compared to other Newcastle United strikers since Alan Shearer?

Another red-hot streak in front of goal has triggered a fierce pub debate: is Alexander Isak the best Newcastle United striker since Alan Shearer?

The Swede has netted five goals in his last four games - taking this season’s tally to 19 across all competitions. Combine that with standout moments and it is easy to understand why Isak is quickly becoming a Toon favourite.

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His tap-in away to Paris Saint-Germain, the hands-on-hip finish at West Ham United and a brace against bitter rivals Sunderland are just a select few that spring to mind from the £63million man’s short stay at St James’ Park. There must be something emanating from the Tyne as this part of the world is renowned for boasting a prolific bagsman.

But how does he stack up compared to the rest?

Since Shearer, arguably English football’s greatest goal machine, called time on his career in 2006, the Magpies have endured a bumpy ride. Those apathetic years under Mike Ashley’s ownership threatened to suck the life out of everything that came before him on Barrack Road.

Despite the relegations, lack of ambition and car-crash boardroom decisions that plagued his tenure, Newcastle still produced the goods up front. Whether that was due to cunning scouting or sheer dumb luck is another debate…

Almost two decades on from his retirement, Shearer remains the modern yardstick for Newcastle strikers. The club’s all-time leading goalscorer bagged 27 goals and seven assists from his first 44 Premier League games - the same total Isak has played since arriving.

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To add context, his record could have been even better, with 25 of those strikes coming in just 31 appearances. However, an ankle injury suffered in pre-season against Chelsea ruled Shearer out for the first 22 games of the campaign - and he initially struggled once returning to fitness.

So how do Obafemi Martins, Demba Ba, Callum Wilson and Isak compare from their first 44 games?

In last place, unsurprisingly, is Martins. The energetic forward arrived from Inter Milan and the eye test could tell you he was never as ruthless as the other four, with 15 goals and six assists. He did produce the best goal celebration, though…

Ahead of him is Wilson, a player who rivals Isak for the starting berth in attack. The 32-year-old’s 20 goals and five assists hold added weight, however, when the relegation-threatened side he played in under Steve Bruce is considered.

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Now it comes down to Ba or Isak, the two players who, if surveyed, Newcastle fans would likely rank as the Magpies’ best strikers since Shearer. Former Senegalese international Ba places second, with 23 goals and five assists.

It should be noted that, like Shearer, Ba’s impact should have been greater. Papiss Cisse’s arrival in January 2012 stifled his compatriot, with Alan Pardew moving Ba to the left flank.

His goal numbers picked up again the following campaign and a £7million move to Chelsea soon followed. That leaves Isak, the man currently leaving jaws on the floor at St James’ Park.

The 24-year-old has 25 goals and three assists from his first 44 top-flight fixtures. Comparisons have already been drawn to Arsenal great Thierry Henry and, given his tender years, expect those figures to improve further.

NUFC strikers after 44 Premier League games

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