Newcastle United provide Alexander Isak update as Callum Wilson decision questioned v Man City

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Eddie Howe has a decision to make on Alexander Isak and Callum Wilson for the visit to Manchester City.

Eddie Howe has tipped Alexander Isak to make a huge impact between now and the end of the campaign - as he ponders starting the Swede against Manchester City tomorrow afternoon (kick-off 12:30pm).

The £60million club-record signing from Real Sociedad started back-to-back Premier League games for the first time since September against Bournemouth and Liverpool but was dropped for the Carabao Cup final on Sunday with Callum Wilson preferred.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Isak, however, was introduced at half-time and made a positive impression, despite the result ending in a 2-0 defeat for the Magpies. That could be enough to see Isak return to the starting XI for the trip to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

It’s been a frustrating start to life on Tyneside for the 23-year-old after spending three months on the sidelines with a thigh injury but Howe is tipping Isak to finish his debut season strong.

Newcastle United club-record signing Alexander Isak. (Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images)Newcastle United club-record signing Alexander Isak. (Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images)
Newcastle United club-record signing Alexander Isak. (Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images)

“He’s a player that is like a new signing for us because of the injury he picked up,” said the Magpies’ head coach. “We missed him in the early part of the season, now he’s back and fit.

“He’s improving with more training sessions and more understanding of what we want from him. He’s building his fitness levels as well. He’s still not at his optimum level but he’s getting closer to it.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I love Alex as a lad and as a player, I think he’s got so much to give us. He’ll add a different dimension for us.

“He can play as an out-and-out nine in my opinion, he can play as a second striker, he can play wide. That adaptability and flexibility is one of the reasons we really wanted him here.

“That’s going to be a big strength for him and us hopefully in the future.”

Newcastle United attacking pair Alexander Isak (left) and Callum Wilson (right). (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Newcastle United attacking pair Alexander Isak (left) and Callum Wilson (right). (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Newcastle United attacking pair Alexander Isak (left) and Callum Wilson (right). (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Isak’s potential inclusion could be at Wilson’s expense. In a poll by ToonPolls this week, 90.6% of fans from 2,629 votes wanted to see Wilson taken out of the firing line after a run of one goal in 13 matches.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Asked about the 31-year-old’s struggles, Howe said: “The challenge is to get all of our attacking players in their best moment together. In a long season that will never happen, the lads will always go through peaks and troughs of form. It is my job to support them, coach them and improve them.

“I know where you are going with the question, but I think Callum has had moments. I thought he was electric in the first half against West Ham. It is our job as a team to create chances for those players to score. I will back our players, I think we’re good enough, and I think it will change.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.