Dan Ashworth has bolstered Eddie Howe’s options with the signings of Matt Targett, Nick Pope and Sven Botman in recent weeks, but one prospective transfer looks set to fall at the final hurdle.
Journalist Craig Hope recently revealed that the Magpies are set to give up on a deal to sign a French striker from Reims.
He tweeted: “I’m told deal for Hugo Ekitike is all but dead. Sources say agent demands were “ridiculous” & it appears PSG interest is now genuine. Newcastle ready to move on to other targets.”
The Daily Mail reporter stated in the accompanying article that the Tyneside club are now monitoring a host of alternative targets, with Real Sociedad centre-forward Alexander Isak one of the names on their list.
However, the report claimed that a deal in the region of £40m would test Newcastle’s Financial Fair Play limitations, and it remains to be seen whether or not a move is viable from a financial perspective.
PIF could land Eddie Howe his own version of Dusan Vlahovic by snapping up a deal to sign the Sweden international this summer.
FBRef lists the Juventus striker as one of the most similar players to Isak based on his statistics over the last 365 days.
The Serbian goal machine scored 24 goals in 33 Serie A starts in the 2021/22 campaign and has proven that he can find the net on a regular basis at the top level, also scoring one goal in two Champions League outings following his mid-season move from Fiorentina.
Howe would surely love to have a player capable of hitting that many goals in one league campaign, and Isak could be that man.
Gary Lineker lauded the youngster as an “exceptional talent” at Euro 2020, and his form for Sociedad in recent years suggests that he has the potential to reach the levels set by the Serbian.
He has also shown signs of promise at international level, with nine goals in 37 caps for Sweden. This shows that he has ample experience already while still heaving plenty of years left to develop and improve even further, which is why he could grow into a striker capable of scoring 20+ league goals in one season, just like Vlahovic.
Newcastle must now execute a deal for the young Scandinavian attacker and allow him to hopefully thrive in the Premier League next term.