Newcastle boss Eddie Howe admits £60m striker Alexander Isak will have ‘feelings of guilt and letting people down’, having played just three times since club-record move due to a thigh injury
- Newcastle striker Alexander Isak is set to remain sidelined until the New Year
- The striker injured his thigh on international duty with Sweden in September
- The 23-year-old Swede last kicked a ball for the Magpies over three months ago
- Isak has only made three appearances since his £60million summer switch
Eddie Howe says he expects Alexander Isak will be experiencing emotions of guilt with the club-record signing set to remain sidelined until the New Year.
It is now three months since the Sweden striker last kicked a ball for his new club following a £60million move from Real Sociedad.
Isak injured his thigh on international duty with Sweden in September after making only three appearances for Howe’s side. He then suffered a recurrence of the same injury the following month.
Alexander Isak has been sidelined for three months following his £60m move to Newcastle
The 23-year-old is now back running and kicking a ball at Newcastle’s training ground but will not feature at Leicester on Boxing Day or for the visit of Leeds on New Year’s Eve.
Howe has sympathy for his player, especially given the serious knee injury he picked up on his own debut for Portsmouth 20 years ago.
‘I’d say it’s been very difficult for him, without being in his head,’ said Howe. ‘I’ve had a feeling of that, going to a new club. I moved to Portsmouth and never played really, just two games.
Boss Eddie Howe says he expects Isak will be experiencing emotions of guilt while sidelined
‘I had a lot of emotions running through me, feelings of guilt and letting people down, my body not being able to allow me to execute what I wanted it to. Alex will no doubt feel those some emotions in some degree.
‘So I know that feeling, you want to go and prove yourself at a new club and to new supporters.
‘He just hasn’t been able to do that. But there can also be benefits. Sometimes when you’re away from the spotlight you can get to know your team-mates and the club.
‘You can begin to feel at home so, when you do step back on the pitch, you’re more comfortable in your surroundings. We have to look at the positives and hope he comes back and makes a real impact for us.’
Isak scored on his debut at Liverpool and again in a home draw with Bournemouth before his injury.
Striker Isak scored on his debut at Liverpool and again in a home draw with Bournemouth
And Howe added: ‘There is a very good feeling around him. There is just a frustration from a supporter’s side that they haven’t seen more of him, because I think they know he’s an outstanding talent.
‘We’re hoping he can play a big part in a busy January. He is out running and he’s kicking a ball.
‘But when you re-injure a part of your body, as he did, we have to be careful. We’re listening to the medical team to try to get this next part right, because this is the most important bit.
‘He’s nearly there. We just have to make sure that when he steps onto the pitch he is fully ready. I don’t want a half ready player. He has to be ready to execute what we need.’