Newcastle United maintained their impressive early season form with victory over Everton at St. James’ Park on Wednesday evening, with a stunning strike from Miguel Almiron helping to move Eddie Howe’s side to within touching distance of the top four.
The Magpies had gone into that match with the news that summer signing Alexander Isak is set for an extended period on the sidelines as a result of a thigh injury, with the Sweden international unlikely to return before the upcoming World Cup.
The Tynesiders’ club-record arrival had impressed with two goals in his three Premier League appearances for the club thus far since joining from La Liga outfit Real Sociedad, with it having been a notable blow to see the 23-year-old struck down by this recent issue.
With the former Borussia Dortmund man now restricted to the treatment table for the foreseeable future, the onus has been placed on Callum Wilson to deliver the goods in attack, with the Englishman no doubt offering a quality alternative having netted three times in seven league games this season.
Manager Eddie Howe may well be expecting more from the former Bournemouth marksman if he is to fill Isak’s void over the coming months, however, with the 30-year-old having somewhat underwhelmed against the Toffees yesterday evening.
The four-cap menace no doubt ‘put in the hard yards’ – in the words of The Chronicle’s Lee Ryder – although was unable to couple that work ethic with an end product, having notably recorded just 25 touches on the night.
The £16.2m-rated ace was also unable to have too great of an involvement when he did have possession – losing the ball every 2.7 touches – while also winning just two of his five ground duels on what was a quiet outing for the one-time Coventry City man.
Wilson had also failed to make a telling impact in the goalless draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday, as ‘nothing really fell his way’ – in the words of the aforementioned Ryder – with the dynamic forward likely to need to do more to get himself back on the scoresheet.
With there also obvious concerns over whether the £46k-per-week man can stay fit – having been plagued by injury during his time at Newcastle to date – it remains to be seen just how big of a blow Isak’s injury will be, should his teammate continue to come up short in the final third.