Rio Ferdinand and Peter Crouch issue verdicts on Alexander Isak vs Callum Wilson battle at Newcastle United

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Rio Ferdinand and Peter Crouch have been discussing the key battle for Newcastle United’s starting striker spot.

BT Sport pundits Rio Ferdinand and Peter Crouch have been speaking about the Alexander Isak vs Callum Wilson debate forming at Newcastle United.

Eddie Howe is blessed with having two high-level strikers at St James’ Park, with record summer signing Isak and the reliable Wilson battling it out for starts. On Saturday, Isak was handed the start after scoring in each of his last two games, while Wilson had scored a brace against West Ham recently only to be dropped for the win over Brentford.

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During a 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa on Saturday, Isak couldn’t make an impact from the start, and while Newcastle improved when Wilson entered the fray, the former Bournemouth striker wasn’t able to have a big say on proceedings, with Isak and Wilson playing together for a big chunk of the game.

Though, ahead of kick-off, BT Sports’ pundits discussed the situation, with Ferdinand saying: “Isak has that something else. he is a fabulous mover. he has that finesse, and he can finish. I watched him in his first game against Anfield when he came on and scored an explosive goal.

“I'm looking forward to see how he develops in this Newcastle team. He is a calm, cool and collected guy, but there is going to be a ceiling underneath him. To get the goals he has got in his career and to get to the path he has so far, you have to have an element of determination.”

Crouch added: “It has always worked well in the clubs I have played at, and with England as well. I know Callum wants to be playing Premier League football.

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“You know you can't have one bad game, you know you can't go games without scoring. It's a good pressure. If you're playing in the Premier League, you want that kind of pressure or you wouldn't be a footballer.”

Isak’s brilliant winner at the weekend highlighted once again just what a threat he is in-front of goal. Callum Wilson will be breathing down his neck and wouldn’t be a surprise to see the pair feature together again at some point if required.Isak’s brilliant winner at the weekend highlighted once again just what a threat he is in-front of goal. Callum Wilson will be breathing down his neck and wouldn’t be a surprise to see the pair feature together again at some point if required.
Isak’s brilliant winner at the weekend highlighted once again just what a threat he is in-front of goal. Callum Wilson will be breathing down his neck and wouldn’t be a surprise to see the pair feature together again at some point if required.

Ferdinand was then asked about the management of the situation and how Howe needs to approach it to keep both players happy.

“I think to manage that situation, you've gotta get that right,” said the former Manchester United defender. “It's about how you deliver the message of when they are playing and when they aren't.

“He has to keep them happy, and the squad have to play a part in that as well. When you see another player unhappy, you have to go around and say 'you pick yourself up. You could be on in 60 minutes or 10 minutes, be ready and stop thinking about yourself'.”

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