Newcastle United set to unleash 'deadly' £146m trio after long absence in blow for Man Utd & West Ham

Newcastle United duo Anthony Gordon and Alexander Isak. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)Newcastle United duo Anthony Gordon and Alexander Isak. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Newcastle United duo Anthony Gordon and Alexander Isak. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Newcastle United have a forward line that can pip the likes of Manchester United and West Ham United to European qualification.

Thirty-one games into the Premier League season and Newcastle United were finally able to unleash their £146million attack line.

Prior to last Saturday’s Premier League meeting with Tottenham Hotspur at St James’ Park, Eddie Howe had not yet named Alexander Isak, Anthony Gordon and Harvey Barnes in the same starting XI. What followed was a 4-0 win, including goals for both Isak & Gordon, and a lively display from Barnes.

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To put it simply, United have a forward line that can take them to Europe.

Newcastle United duo Anthony Gordon and Alexander Isak. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)Newcastle United duo Anthony Gordon and Alexander Isak. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Newcastle United duo Anthony Gordon and Alexander Isak. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Gordon - undoubtedly Newcastle’s player of the season - has mainly starred from the left side of the attack, but you do wonder if part of Eddie Howe’s thinking in signing Barnes was to move the versatile Scouser over to the right.

It was the right wing position that many thought needed strengthening last summer, despite Miguel Almiron’s purple patch in front of goal. But Howe - six months after signing Gordon for £45m - again bolstered the left side, investing £38m to recruit Barnes.

Barnes, a regular goal scorer for Leicester City, netted on his debut against Aston Villa but had barely got going when a foot injury sustained during the 8-0 win at Sheffield United in September ruled him out for five months.

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The 26-year-old’s comeback at the beginning of February, marked with a goal in the 4-4 draw versus Luton Town, coincided with Isak’s latest injury spell. And just as the Swede began to reach full speed, Barnes suffered a minor hamstring setback.

At that stage, hope of seeing the trio together this term appeared to be running low. But since returning from the March international break, the prospect has been building and Tottenham were on the receiving end.

The first glimpse of Isak, Gordon and Barnes came during the 4-3 comeback win over West Ham when the latter netted twice as a substitute. Isak too scored a brace but a late second yellow card for Gordon ruled him out against Everton three days later, which ended 1-1.

Around came Fulham and the quick succession of games saw Barnes return to the bench but his introduction proved decisive, playing a key part in Bruno Guimaraes’ 81st-minute winner. Having witnessed 35 minutes of Isak-Gordon-Barnes at Craven Cottage, Howe unleashed the trio from the start against Spurs, and the end result spoke for itself.

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Of course, the relationship won’t have blossomed to its full potential quite yet, but the promise is there. Isak and Gordon set up both of Barnes’ goals vs West Ham while Barnes assisted Isak vs Everton. Then, you only have to go back as far as Saturday to see the last time Isak and Gordon linked up, something that has become a regular occurrence.

All three players offer something different and as a combination, it can be deadly. Whether it be Isak’s Thierry Henry-esque traits, Gordon’s tenacity or Barnes’ cultured right foot, Newcastle have a forward line capable of pipping the likes of Manchester United and West Ham United to European qualification.

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