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Newcastle manager Eddie Howe has delivered a New Year’s boost to Magpies supporters by revealing that striker Alexander Isak is back in full first-team training at the club.
The Swedish striker had been in the treatment room since September following a troublesome high injury, but now the promising centre-forward is ready to return to the fray to aid Newcastle’s push for a top four finish in the Premier League.
Isak’s return to the fold should add even more firepower to a Magpies’ outfit that has already plundered 32 goals in 18 league fixtures this term, and Newcastle fans are understandably giddy at the prospect of seeing the 23-year-old back in action.
Howe delivers good news about Isak
On Friday morning, Eddie Howe provided an update on Alexander Isak’s recovery when quizzed about the attacker’s availability, though the Newcastle boss was cautious when asked if the Swede could be considered to feature in Saturday’s FA Cup third round tie at Sheffield Wednesday.
Howe said: “Let’s get him through training today. I’m not clear because I just don’t want to put pressure on him. We’ll introduce him at the right time and he’s getting closer all the time.
“He’s trained with the team so we’re pleased with his process. Let’s wait and see.”
Howe offered more detail about Isak’s state of mind following his lengthy lay-off, saying, “Initially he was hugely disappointed and there was a feeling of real frustration because he wants to show his talent.
“He is in a much better place now because he is close. Whenever you are on the grass with your team-mates the world is a better place.”
“If and when we get him back it will be like having a new signing. It will be a huge boost to have him back.”
Isak’s early form revisited
Newcastle splashed out a club-record fee believed to be in the region of €70m to bring Alexander Isak to St. James’ Park from Real Sociedad, in a move that highlighted the club’s increased spending power under their new Saudi Arabian ownership.
Isak began to pay back his sky-high fee almost immediately when he scored on his debut against Liverpool at Anfield with a superb finish past Brazilian keeper Alisson.
Just a couple of weeks later, Isak got his name in lights again when he converted a second-half penalty kick against Eddie Howe’s old employers, Bournemouth, though that was as good as it got for the Swedish youngster.
Isak picked up a thigh injury shortly after his goal-scoring heroics against The Cherries and the pacey frontman hasn’t made a single appearance for Newcastle since.
Newcastle have coped well in Isak’s absence, though the ex-Borussia Dortmund starlet should bring a touch of genuine class to the final third when he is back up and running.
Isak has won 37 caps and scored nine times for his country since making his debut back in 2017 and despite featuring in just three Premier League fixtures for Newcastle so far, he has the same tally of goals as teammate and fellow striker Chris Wood, who has played 17 times in the top flight this season for the Magpies in comparison.
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