Alexander Isak repaying Eddie Howe’s faith as Newcastle target strong finish

Newcastle’s manager a long-term admirer of the Swede who is now back to full fitness to spearhead European qualification

Alexander Isak was back on the pitch at St James’ Park last week, posing languidly alongside a Formula-E car as cameras whirred and a commercial film shoot began. Isak does languid very well, but that was not why Saudia, the national airline of Saudi Arabia and a key sponsor of both Newcastle United and Formula-E, decided the club’s Sweden striker was the right choice to drape his rangy limbs over a cutting edge, all electric, racing car.

After becoming the first Newcastle forward since Alan Shearer in 2003-04 to score more than 20 goals in all competitions in a top-flight campaign, the 24-year-old is hot property. Earlier this month, Tottenham’s Micky van de Ven arrived on Tyneside trailing a reputation as the Premier League’s quickest defender but the talented Dutchman was twice left on his backside as Isak demonstrated startling powers of acceleration from standing starts.

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