Eddie Howe has explained Newcastle United’s U-turn when it came to signing Alexander Isak.
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The Swedish striker is already off the mark in black and white following a debut goal at Liverpool only days after completing a huge £60m move from Real Sociedad.
All summer, the club pursued moves for a striker, with Armando Broja and Timo Werner both of interest, while Ivan Toney and Dominic Calvert-Lewin were also linked. Indeed, Isak was another on the radar, although the 22-year-old was reportedly considered too expensive back in July.
Hugo Ekitike was another chased, although the Frenchman ended up moving to Paris Saint-Germain amid problems in dealing with the player’s agents.
Still, after a protracted saga in looking for a striker so desperately needed, the club took the decision to shell out a club-record fee for Isak, who signed a long-term contract at St James’ Park.
What did Howe say about the decision to pay £60m for Isak?
Speaking to Alan Shearer for The Athletic, Howe said: “Our plan was to sign a younger striker to complement Chris [Wood] and Callum [Wilson] with a view to developing him and then Callum got injured and it left us in a position where we didn’t want to leave ourselves short.
“So then the type of striker you want changes and you have to act. Alexander was someone we’d always liked and tracked and followed.”
What has Isak said about his move?
After joining the club, Isak told NUFC.co.uk: “I’m delighted to have it done. It was a big, big decision for me but it is a decision I am really happy with.
“It is a great, historical club that I think anyone would like to play for, with amazing fans. They were a big part of why I came here – and also the club’s project, which is one that I really believe in.
“You always want to go into a team and know how they play. I think Newcastle play very attractive football and I want to be a part of that.”