Kieran Trippier thinks Newcastle United will be ‘an even bigger threat’ once two players return from injury, while he has also told his team-mates to help Alexander Isak ‘find his strengths’.
Isak joined Newcastle from Real Sociedad in the summer transfer window for a club-record £60million. He made his Premier League debut against Liverpool on August 31 and marked it with a goal, although the Magpies were beaten 2-1 by Jurgen Klopp’s side.
The striker then featured against Crystal Palace in Newcastle’s following league match. However, Palace shut him out and the game ended in a 0-0 draw.
Isak did get among the goals when Newcastle came up against Bournemouth at St James’ Park over the weekend.
He scored from the penalty spot after a Trippier cross had hit the hand of Bournemouth’s Jefferson Lerma, forcing the referee to give a spot-kick.
This goal dragged Newcastle level after Bournemouth had taken the lead five minutes earlier through a clever Philip Billing finish. The game ended 1-1, leaving Newcastle boss Eddie Howe ‘frustrated’.
The manager admitted Isak had looked ‘isolated’ during the clash with Bournemouth. He says he wants to work on this and get Isak more support once the international break ends.
Trippier, who captained Newcastle in the most recent draw, has urged the squad to get the best out of their new forward. He also warned fellow Prem clubs that Newcastle will be deadly once Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson return to the starting eleven.
Alexander Isak ‘slotted in straight away’ – Trippier
“He [Isak] slotted in straight away and, in training and games, it’s like he’s been here for ages,” Trippier said (via the Daily Mirror). “But it’s more about developing as a team and finding his strengths.
“Everyone has seen what he’s all about. I’ve played against him in La Liga. When Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson come back, we’ll be an even bigger threat.
“He plays off the shoulder, he’s quick, he’s good in the air. We’ve got an all-round striker, at such a young age.
“He’ll keep growing and will keep scoring goals for us, that’s for sure. But we need goals from all over the pitch, not just him. We’ve created so many opportunities the last couple of games. we just need to start putting them in.”
Isak’s penalty will have been a huge confidence booster for him after struggling to get involved for large parts of the Bournemouth game.
During an appearance on Sky Sports, Paul Merson analysed the Swede’s performance and how Bournemouth kept him quiet.
“I didn’t see too much of him, they [Bournemouth] defended him very well,” Merson said.
“You know, it’s hard. Sometimes it’s hard [for a striker].
“You need that grass behind the defence and it wasn’t there for him. He’s very quick (and) they nullified that, Bournemouth.
“They just sat back and put 10 behind the ball. [There was] not a lot of space between the goalkeeper and the back four. He didn’t have anywhere to go.
“When it’s like that it’s going to be hard. I think he’ll get a lot more joy away from home.”
Isak certainly has the attributes and tenacity to become a success in England. However, Newcastle definitely need to work on finding him in good positions more often.
This is partly down to Howe, who may need to change system slightly to help his attackers link up with Isak.
Meanwhile, Chelsea appear to have joined Arsenal, Tottenham and Newcastle in the battle for Bayer Leverkusen’s Moussa Diaby, per reports.
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