Eddie Howe backs Alexander Isak to become a Newcastle hero as he compares Magpies’ record signing and Alan Shearer

  • Alexander Isak scored in Newcastle’s 3-2 defeat to Manchester City
  • The Sweden international is the Magpies’ record signing 
  • Newcastle’s summer signings haven’t worked. It’s mad to talk about them as an established top-four side… sixth is about right – It’s All Kicking Off 

Eddie Howe has backed record signing Alexander Isak to join Alan Shearer in the Newcastle pantheon after watching him enhance his credentials in a heart-breaking defeat by Manchester City.

The 24-year-old Sweden international capped a fine individual display with a stunning first-half equaliser, yet still ended up on the losing side after the club world champions snatched a 3-2 victory at St James’ Park as a mouthwatering spectacle came to a dramatic conclusion.

Asked afterwards if Isak, a £63million signing from Real Sociedad during the summer of 2022, could go on to enjoy the same elevated status as the club’s record goalscorer Shearer, Howe said: ‘The goal was very reminiscent of Alan, really, the finish that he delivered.

‘He can go on, I think, to achieve incredible things in his career. He’s got so much more to offer.

‘He’s probably getting back to 100 per cent fit – I wouldn’t say he’s totally there yet. He’s had his own injury troubles this season, but the last two performances and the goals that he’s scored offers a glimpse, really, of his capabilities.

Eddie Howe has backed Alexander Isak to become one of the great Newcastle strikers

The Magpies manager said Isak has all it takes to ‘achieve incredible things’ in his career

‘He is really the all-round striker, in my opinion.’

Isak dragged Newcastle back into a thrilling encounter 10 minutes before the break when, with Bernardo Silva having put the visitors ahead with an impudent flick, he collected Bruno Guimaraes’ looping ball over the top, cut inside Kyle Walker and curled a delicious effort past substitute keeper Stefan Ortega.

When Anthony Gordon matched his feat two minutes later, the Magpies were flying, but a compelling contest was ultimately decided by a tale of two benches, one riven by injury and suspension and the other which included Kevin de Bruyne and the precocious talent of Oscar Bobb.

Howe’s men were coping well with City’s incessant onslaught until De Bruyne making his first league appearance since the opening weekend of the season following a hamstring injury, was introduced as a 69th-minute substitute.

Within five minutes, he had levelled with a pinpoint finish and as Newcastle tired, it was he who picked out Bobb’s stoppage-time run into the box and then looked on as the 20-year-old collected the ball expertly before dispatching it past Martin Dubravka to clinch victory.

In the process, he sent City into second place in the table and condemned the Magpies to a fourth successive league defeat and their first back-to-back failures at home since Amanda Staveley’s successful takeover.

Howe backed Isak to reach Alan Shearer's historic heights at Newcastle

Howe backed Isak to reach Alan Shearer’s historic heights at Newcastle 

The Sweden international scored a sensational equaliser for Newcastle on Saturday night

The Sweden international scored a sensational equaliser for Newcastle on Saturday night

Oscar Bobb (middle) scored an injury time winner as Man City won 3-2 at St James' Park

Oscar Bobb (middle) scored an injury time winner as Man City won 3-2 at St James’ Park

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Howe was understandably disappointed by the outcome, but happy with a performance which suggested his team is returning to its best after a bruising run with 14-goal Isak, who has also scored against Aston Villa, Paris St Germain and Liverpool this season, a particular focus.

He said: ‘Alex is an outstanding individual. His goal was of the highest level, and I thought his energy and his overall performance was outstanding. I thought he was a constant menace.

‘He showed his ability to run, he showed his ability to link play and he showed his ability to finish. I’m just disappointed that we couldn’t get him into more dangerous situations in that second half because he could have made the difference for us.’

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