Saturday, October 1, 2022

Newcastle United Spent £63M For This La Liga Forward: How Does He Fit Into Howe’s Plans?

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Ankit Seth
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In a recent report from ChronicleLive, it was stated that Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe had plans for Alexander Isak to play alongside Callum Wilson as the Magpies spent £63 million for their record-breaking signing on deadline day. However, upon his arrival at St. James Park, Wilson picked up a thigh problem being ruled out for the long term but that didn’t stop the club’s top scorer to greet the Sweden striker.

Isak’s Impressive Form At Sociedad Last Season

The young forward found the back of the net on ten occasions and earned three assists in 39 matches for the Spanish club last season across all fronts. He was far from a prolific forward but still managed to put in some influential performances as the focal point of Sociedad’s frontline.

Isak gave a good account of himself in the final third by averaging 2.3 shots, 0.6 key passes and 1.4 dribbles per game in La Liga. However, he was a bit inaccurate with his ball distribution after making 74.3% of his attempted passes in league football (stats via whoscored).

St. James' Park
St. James’ Park

How Does He Fit Into Howe’s Plans For Newcastle United?

Isak can create some space for himself to get a few shots in at goal and can be a decent finisher in the final third when he is playing at the top of his game. He is primarily a centre-forward but can even fill in as a winger if needed or as a second striker to play along the lines.

The Swedish striker can even create a few inviting chances for others around him and remains proficient at timing his runs well in behind the opponent’s backline. He does well connecting in a two-man strike team and could really elevate the game of others around him.

Howe could utilise a 4-4-2 formation to deploy a two-man strike team as Callum Wilson forms a partnership with Alexander Isak up front instead of being a lone attacking figurehead up top. Isak has already scored a goal in his debut for the Tyneside and could serve as a better upgrade over Chris Wood who has failed to impress in the final third. So Howe has done well to bring him in and partner him with Wilson in the frontline as the fans await his return from the treatment room to see how it works out for them.

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