Newcastle bought the «new Zlatan» for 70 + 10 million euros. Tuchel didn’t need him at Borussia

By on September 2, 2022

Football transfers

Alexander Isak – a record of sheikhs. Significant purchase of Newcastle: the club announced the transfer of striker Alexander Isak from Real Sociedad for 70 million euros, another 10 can go to San Sebastian in the form of bonuses. Money record for an English club. The 22-year-old Swedish striker will receive around £120,000 a week.

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Newcastle spends modestly

Yes, Newcastle is spending the summer calmly: after the arrival of the Saudi sheikhs, large-scale spending was expected, but the new owners are behaving carefully.

Newcastle have made only three transfers, not counting Isak:

  • Purchased left-back Matt Targett from Aston Villa on loan. They gave 17.5 million euros.
  • Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope, the England keeper who spent years at Burnley, now plays in Newcastle’s net. At the end of last season, Nick’s former team went to the Championship, and the goalkeeper himself deservedly remained in the Premier League – he cost the sheikhs 11.5 million euros.
  • The most high-profile purchase was Dutch defender Sven Botman, who was taken from Lille for €37m. Tops hunted for Botman at different times (a couple of years ago they talked about the interest of Liverpool), but this summer there were only two contenders – Newcastle and Milan. Sven chose the British.

This is quite modest by the standards of the Premier League (where Nottingham Forest spends under 150 million over the summer), and even by the standards of Newcastle itself – in January the club spent 100 million euros on four players. Then Kieran Trippier, Dan Byrne, Chris Wood and Bruno Guimaraes came in, and Matt Targett also came on loan.

Tuchel didn’t need him at Borussia, but he opened up in Spain

For the first time, they started talking about the Swede five years ago: in 2017, Borussia Dortmund paid 8.6 million euros for the 18-year-old forward. For the sake of this transition, Alexander even refused Real Madrid.

Isak was already being compared to Zlatan, and not only because of his origin. Zlatan and Isak differ in size (Alexander’s height is 192 cm), while being technical. Isak also has a frisky speed, thanks to which he even went out on the flank.

But it was hard with playing time at Borussia: Thomas Tuchel admitted that the Swede was bought without agreement with the headquarters, even Aubameyang’s departure after six months did not help. For the second season, Alexander was first sent to the second team, and then on loan to Willem II. There, Isak spent an impressive six months: 13 goals and 7 assists in 16 matches, he became 16th in the goal + pass system in the Eredivisie. No one else in the top 20 of the ranking played less than 20 games on the field – and it must be borne in mind that Alexander did not run for a top club.

Isak was noticed: the Swede, who returned from loan, was immediately sold to Real Sociedad for 15 million euros. In the first season, he scored 9 goals: he scored against Barcelona, and also laid Real at the Santiago Bernabeu in the Spanish Cup – he scored twice himself and assisted Michel Merino on the winning goal. Sociedad won 4:3 and took the trophy.