Newcastle United training ground claim provides exciting Sandro Tonali update

Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Eddie Howe provides a behind-the-scenes update on Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali.

Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe has seen improvements in Sandro Tonali's game, despite the Italian being ruled out of action since October.

Tonali is almost halfway through his 10 month ban imposed by the Italian Football Federation following an investigation into illegal betting. While he is unable to appear in competitive matches, he is permitted to train with his teammates as normal.

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The 23-year-old has used the time to learn the English language, which Dan Burn recently described as "unbelievable", as well as being a regular spectator at St James' Park. And behind the scenes, Tonali is making positive strides on the training pitch, according to Howe, as he counts down the days to his late-August return.

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Asked about Tonali last week, Howe said: "We have spent time with him identifying areas of his game that we want to improve. He's got a lot of time to do that so we have spent a lot of time with him doing that. That naturally engages your brain into what you're doing. If we had not done that and it was just random training for him that was not specialised, that's when he could potentially drift mentally.

"I have to say he has been very good in supporting his teammates and very good in making the training sessions better for everybody. I've definitely seen an improvement in his game despite the fact he is not playing. That can sometimes be very difficult to improve your game without getting the match stimulus you need, but he has played in training games and bigger pitch stuff. It's important that we do that for him so athletically he does not suffer."

Tonali joined the Magpies from the Serie A giants AC Milan in the summer for £52million and went on to appear 12 times before his suspension kicked in. Despite his long absence, Tonali is constantly on the mind of Newcastle fans, whose catchy new chant 'Sandro ole ole ole' chant has swiftly become a matchday staple.

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