La Liga director hails ‘special’ Newcastle United star ahead of comeback from injury

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The Magpies record signing has received wholesome praise from his former club.

Newcastle United striker Alexander Isak has been hailed as ‘extraordinary’ by Real Sociedad director of football Roberto Olabe.

The Sweden international made a big impression with the La Liga club after joining them in a £11m deal from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2019. Isak went on to score 44 goals and provide eight assists in 131 appearances for Sociedad and attracted interest from around Europe after establishing himself as one of the most promising strikers on the continent.

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Newcastle’s initial interest is said to have been floated in January but it took until the final week of the summer transfer window for a deal to be completed to bring the forward to Tyneside. An initial fee believed to be in the region of £63m set a new Magpies club record and Olabe revealed it also represented a good deal for his own club.

“Alex represents a job well done by our recruitment team,” Olabe told the official La Liga YouTube channel.

“He represents what we want as a club. Growing and creating opportunities for young people. We want him to keep aspiring to be better. Alex is special, Alex is a player who has extraordinary fundamental technique who participates in the building of the play.”

Isak made a promising start to life with the Magpies after scoring a stunning goal on his debut against Liverpool. He doubled his tally for the club with a penalty in the draw against Bournemouth but has been out of action with a thigh injury suffered on international duty with Sweden in September.

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Speaking ahead of last month’s home win against Everton, Howe delivered an update on Isak’s fitness, saying: “Unfortunately, he’s had a setback on his thigh. We don’t think we’ll see Alex back before the World Cup. It’s very frustrating for him. As a new player coming to a new league and new club, you want to make an impact and he did in the first few games.”

Isak is expecting to return to training and could play some part in United’s friendlies against Al-Hilal and Rayo Vallecano in a bid to place some part in Newcastle’s return to Premier League action against Leicester City on Boxing Day.

United’s hopes for their record signing remain high and Isak will have a major role to play as they look to continue their impressive performances so far this season into the second part of the campaign.

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