Alexander Isak: The Next Young Striker Ready to Shine for Newcastle

(Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images)

Alexander Isak: The Next Young Striker Ready to Shine for Newcastle

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Alexander Isak: The Next Young Striker Ready to Shine for Newcastle

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On Friday night, Newcastle United confirmed the signing of Swedish striker Alexander Isak from Spanish side Real Sociedad. The number nine had interest from some of the biggest clubs in Europe, yet manager Eddie Howe convinced him to join the Magpies. Newcastle has done some excellent business over the calendar year, and Isak may be the next player to flourish in the Premier League. 

Isak had his best season in terms of goal involvement during the 2020-21 campaign. He scored 17 goals and assisted on two more in 30 league starts. While the young forward did have an underwhelming 2021-22 campaign (six goals and two assists in 2,140 league minutes), his contributions in the season before prove he has what it takes to perform in a top European league. Yes, the intensity is much different in the Premier League compared to what Isak was facing in LaLiga, but the forward has the physical qualities to adjust.

The signing of Alexander Isak continues to show Newcastle is not only looking to buy high-quality talent within Europe specifically but is also targeting players in a specific age range. In the last twelve months, the club has purchased central midfielder Bruno Guimarães (24 years old) from Lyon, central defender Sven Botman (22 years old) from Lille, and now Isak (22 years old) from Real Sociedad. All three of those players were previously at clubs consistently playing in European competitions, which shows how much interest there really is in this current Newcastle project.

How the team will line up moving forward is one of the major talking points following this deal. Newcastle did not spend £60 million on Isak to have him play a limited role, so it should only be a matter of time before the striker is consistently one of the first names on the team sheet. The question then becomes what they do with Callum Wilson, a player that Howe has worked with for years. Newcastle could pivot from a 4-3-3 formation to a more conventional 4-4-2 in order to play Wilson and Isak together. That would push Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almirón further wide, something that both are certainly capable of doing.

Callum Wilson does have a poor injury record (currently dealing with a hamstring problem), It’s something Wilson has dealt with for a large portion of his club career. If he were to miss significant time throughout the league campaign, Isak would play through the middle in Howe’s 4-3-3 in order to keep the team in a similar shape. Regardless, having two quality strikers in one squad is a good problem to have.

Isak made his presence known in his first league start for Newcastle against Liverpool on Wednesday, opening his Premier League account with a goal at Anfield. He found the back of the net in the 38th minute following a perfect pass from midfielder Sean Longstaff. Newcastle did go on to lose the match 2-1, but what Isak provided in just over an hour should give fans a lot of hope.

Alexander Isak showed a lot of promise in his four years at Real Sociedad which helped him get a big money move to England. Newcastle has done some of the best business in the country this year, and their new forward may continue that theme. If Isak can continue to progress under manager Eddie Howe, he may be one of the biggest reasons why Newcastle finishes in the top seven this season.

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