Newcastle United star carrying a knee issue - could drop out of starting XI v Sheffield United

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Eddie Howe has revealed Alexander Isak has a knee issue which Newcastle United’s medical team are doing their best to manage.

The Sweden international, who is the Magpies’ club-record signing at £60million, scored a brace on the opening day of the Premier League against Aston Villa but hasn’t found the net since.

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In total, Isak has scored in only one of his last 12 games. When that statistic was put to Howe, the Magpies head coach replied: “Sometimes stats can be a little bit misleading.

“Look at his last performance against Milan and there was so much good from him. He linked play really well for us. But as a team we didn’t really click in the final third. That was pretty obvious.

“He has been feeling his knee slightly in the last few weeks and has had an ongoing knee issue that we have been trying to manage. I’m really pleased with him. He’s an outstanding talent.

“Yes, he will want to score but, as long as the team is performing well, that’s the main thing.”

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Isak started the goalless draw against AC Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday evening but could drop to the bench for the Premier League visit to Sheffield United on Sunday afternoon.

Callum Wilson got the nod over the 24-year-old for last weekend’s game against Brentford and justified his selection by scoring the winning penalty in a 1-0 victory.

That said, Howe did not rule out playing the pair together like they did last season with Isak on the left and Wilson as the central striker.

Howe added: “We will always look at it, and Alex did go to the left when Callum came on against Milan. Alex can play that position really well and sometimes it’s nice to rotate him in running during a game because he has that ability to drift left.

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If he’s gone quiet in a game for a period of time then it might spark him to life in another area. We will look at it, but we always have to pick what is best for the team, not the individuals.

“Sometimes you can put your best players into the team but the team doesn’t function as well. We love both players and will always try to make the best call for the team.”

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