Eddie Howe has admitted Newcastle have few friends as they attempt to bolster their squad in January against the background of stringent spending limits in the wake of their £400million spree.

The Magpies’ latest financial figures for the year ended June 30, 2023 were published on Thursday and revealed a loss after tax of £73.4million, prompting chief executive Darren Eales to reveal they may have to sell before they can further strengthen their squad.

Howe has been linked with a January move for Bournemouth striker Dominic Solanke, but the 46-year-old insisted such a deal was currently beyond his pocket.

He said: “(It’s) a frustrating story for me because yes, I love Dominic Solanke – I signed him and I rate him very, very highly.

“But we have not made an enquiry for him and we don’t have the ability to sign a player of that level.”

Howe’s squad has been decimated by injuries and Sandro Tonali’s 10-month suspension, and Newcastle will go into Saturday’s Premier League clash with Manchester City with 10 players unavailable and latest addition Joelinton facing a minimum of six weeks on the sidelines.

The Brazilian’s misfortune – he has a thigh tendon issue – exacerbates the club’s problems in midfield, which had already prompted an interest in a temporary, but so far unrequited, move for City’s Kalvin Phillips, although even that is proving problematic.

Howe said: “I’m not sure there’s many clubs out there that are willing to help us currently.

“To agree a loan deal, you need the club to agree to that deal, so we’re in that moment where I’m not sure we have many friends in the market.”

Asked if loan signings were a possibility, he added: “We’re not shutting the door on everything, but certainly as I sit here now, no, we’re not going to bring anyone in. But that may change as the window unfolds.”

Newcastle’s predicament may attract little sympathy with their Saudi-backed owners having invested heavily to recruit the likes of Kieran Trippier, Sven Botman, Bruno Guimaraes and Alexander Isak since completing their takeover in October 2021, and Eales’ admission that players may have to be sold contradicts the narrative which has surrounded the club since.

Howe, who insisted the Magpies do not want to sell their better players, said: “There was this perception when the owners took over that we were the richest club in the world. The reality is that’s not really important when talking about FFP.

“That’s irrelevant. We are where we are based on income and we have to improve those revenue streams.

“Selling players is part of every football club’s DNA now. It has to be with Financial Fair Play rules because we have to generate more income and to sign players, we may have to sell players.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean star players – whatever you mean by that term – but certainly selling players will be something this club will do now for the foreseeable future.”

Meanwhile, Howe expressed sympathy for the club’s travelling fans after their FA Cup fourth-round trip to Fulham was scheduled for 7pm on Saturday, January 27, when the last train back to the city leaves at around 9pm.

He said: “I do have sympathy for them. We’re all at the mercy of the TV companies and when they want to schedule games, and I don’t think enough consideration is given to the supporters and what they have to do to get to and from the games.”

Sean Longstaff has challenged Newcastle to mount a charge for FA Cup glory after launching their campaign with a morale-boosting derby victory over Sunderland.

The Magpies went into Saturday’s clash with their arch-rivals having lost seven of their previous eight games in all competitions and knowing the potential for a third-round exit at the hands of lower league opposition for a third successive season was a very real possibility if they were not at their best.

In the event, Eddie Howe’s men eased past the Black Cats with the minimum of fuss, securing a 3-0 victory which rekindled memories among the 6,000 travelling fans at the Stadium of Light of last season’s Carabao Cup final trip to Wembley and increased hope of an end to a 69-year wait for a major domestic trophy.

Asked afterwards about the prospect of an extended run in the competition, midfielder Longstaff told NUFC TV: “We knew going out of the Carabao Cup was really disappointing and if we want to make it a memorable season, it’s a chance to win a trophy and we’ve got to believe that we can do that. I think we’ve got the squad to do it.

“It’s about getting through the first game, so now we’re through and no matter who we get, whether we’re at home or away, we’re going to give it all we’ve got.

“If we can get another trip to Wembley and hopefully put a positive end on it, it would be amazing, but there’s a long way to go before that, so we’re not getting ahead of ourselves.”

Howe and his players arrived on Wearside knowing their season had reached something of a watershed following last month’s Champions League and Carabao Cup exits and a poor run of form in the Premier League.

They did so without a win over Sunderland, now playing their football in the Sky Bet Championship after a four-season exile in League One, in nine attempts – a run which included six successive defeats – dating back to 2011.

But if there was any anxiety on and off the pitch before kick-off, it was soon dispelled as, aided by an error-strewn display from the hosts, they surged to victory without ever having to find top gear.

They went ahead 10 minutes before the break when defender Dan Ballard, who had moments earlier been fortunate to escape unpunished after hauling down Alexander Isak as he surged into the penalty area, turned Joelinton’s cross into his own net with the Sweden international lurking behind him ready to apply the finishing touch.

Newcastle were effectively home and dry within seconds of the restart when Miguel Almiron mugged Pierre Ekwah on the edge of his own box and squared for Isak to extend the lead, and the £63million striker completed the job with a 90th-minute penalty after a frustrated Ballard had barged Anthony Gordon to the ground.

 

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Sunderland had flickered briefly in the meantime with Alex Pritchard clipping the top of the crossbar and then forcing a good save from Martin Dubravka, but it was all too little, too late.

 

Isak, who swiftly turned his attention to Saturday’s league clash with Manchester City, said: “We just have to get back to our form and start winning games. That’s the main target.

“Hopefully this can be like a turn-around for us because we’ve had bad results before, so we can use this energy to turn things around, and it’s a good way to start against City.”

Chris Wood retuned to haunt Newcastle with a stunning hat-trick as Nottingham Forest handed new boss Nuno Espirito Santo the first Premier League victory of his reign.

Wood, who joined Forest from the Magpies in January, produced two fine second-half finishes to secure a 3-1 comeback success at St James’ Park.

Newcastle went ahead through Alexander Isak’s 23rd-minute penalty but slipped to a sixth defeat in seven games in all competitions after Wood tapped home Anthony Elanga’s cross just before the break and went on to complete his treble in style.

Forest remain two points above the relegation zone after 18th-placed Luton pulled off a 3-2 success at bottom club Sheffield United thanks to two late own goals.

Blades pair Jack Robinson and Anis Ben Slimane each turned the ball into their own goal during the final 14 minutes of a chaotic clash at Bramall Lane.

Chris Wilder’s hosts had looked set for a vital three points after second-half strikes from Oli McBurnie and Anel Ahmedhodzic overturned Alfie Doughty’s 17th-minute opener.

In-form Bournemouth continued their remarkable resurgence by moving into the top half of the table thanks to a thumping 3-0 victory over Fulham.

Justin Kluivert put the Cherries ahead just before half-time at Vitality Stadium before Dominic Solanke’s eighth goal in seven games – a penalty after Joao Palhinha brought down Antoine Semenyo – doubled the lead.

Substitute Luis Sinisterra sealed an emphatic success late on as Andoni Iraola’s hosts made it 19 points from the last 21 available.

Newcastle produced a stunning second-half display as the Magpies halted Chelsea’s Premier League momentum with a 4-1 win at St James’ Park.

Jamaal Lascelles’ first-half error handed Raheem Sterling the chance to cancel out Alexander Isak’s opener with a superb free-kick, but the Newcastle skipper gave his side the lead with a bullet header on the hour.

Joelinton then pounced on Thiago Silva’s blunder on the day he became the Blues’ oldest ever outfield player at 39 years and 64 days.

The excellent Anthony Gordon produced a fine solo effort seven minutes from time to seal a thumping win, the perfect response to the Magpies’ 2-0 defeat at Bournemouth before the international break.

That it was achieved without 13 senior players – Joe Willock and Emil Krafth joined the casualty list on the eve of the game – will have been a source of huge satisfaction for head coach Eddie Howe.

The vast majority of a crowd of 52,227 left with smiles on their faces, but wondering what team Howe will be able to field at Paris St Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday evening.

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino, who had seen his side score eight goals against Tottenham and Manchester City in their previous two games, looked on as a positive first half dissolved into chaos with full-back Reece James receiving his marching orders late on for two bookable offences.

Newcastle were ahead with 13 minutes gone when Gordon recycled Kieran Trippier’s cross beyond the far post and picked out youngster Lewis Miley on the edge of the box via a deft touch from Joelinton.

The 17-year-old slid a neat pass into Isak’s feet and the striker turned smartly before firing past goalkeeper Robert Sanchez.

However, the visitors were back in it within 10 minutes when, after Lascelles had been dispossessed inside the visitors’ half, Nicolas Jackson played Sterling into the space he had vacated and the winger’s run towards goal was halted illegally by Trippier.

Sterling took charge of the resulting free-kick and curled it superbly over the wall and into the net with Pope rooted to the spot – the first league goal he had conceded at St James’ in 383 minutes of football.

Pope had to be at his best to turn away Enzo Fernandez’s effort after a flowing counter-attack sparked by Conor Gallagher in which James was twice involved and defender Benoit Badiashile headed straight at the keeper from the resulting corner.

But Pope was fortunate to escape when he scuffed a 36th-minute clearance straight to Gallagher and was relieved to see him make equally poor contact with his attempt at goal.

Trippier very nearly matched Sterling’s brilliance with 43rd-minute free-kick which rattled the crossbar as a rousing half drew to its conclusion.

The Magpies regained the lead on the hour when Trippier opted to play the latest in a series of free-kicks square to Bruno Guimaraes rather than into the box and he and Joelinton combined to feed Gordon, whose pinpoint cross was headed home by the unmarked Lascelles.

Newcastle increased their lead within two minutes when Silva’s miskick presented Joelinton with a chance to run in on goal and smash the ball past the helpless Sanchez.

James’ afternoon got worse with 17 minutes remaining when, having earlier been booked for dissent, he received a second yellow card for a foul on Gordon and was dismissed.

Fabian Schar would have made it 4-1 but for a fine one-handed save by Sanchez, but there was nothing the Spain international could do to keep out Gordon’s inch-perfect 83rd-minute strike.

Hwang Hee-chan’s seventh goal of the season earned Wolves a point as they twice came from behind in a 2-2 draw at home against Newcastle.

Callum Wilson scored a first-half brace for the visitors, including a controversial penalty, to move on to seven goals from just nine Premier League appearances but it was not enough against a determined Wolves side who seemed to take inspiration from a sense of injustice in a feisty second half.

Wilson, starting in place of the injured Alexander Isak, acrobatically capitalised on a Jose Sa error to put Newcastle in front 22 minutes in but Mario Lemina, back in the Wolves side after suspension, headed the hosts level with his first goal in old gold 14 minutes later.

Wolves then fumed when Anthony Taylor pointed to the post on the stroke of half-time, with minimal apparent contact when Hwang was guilty of a loose touch in his own box and Fabian Schar went down as he stepped in to take possession.

Wilson kept his cool through a lengthy VAR check and ignored the jeers to put Newcastle back in front despite Sa getting a strong hand to the spot-kick, but Hwang would make amends in the 71st minute with an equaliser that extends Wolves’ unbeaten run to five.

Newcastle made the trip south coming off a 1-0 Champions League home defeat to Borussia Dortmund and still reeling from the loss of Sandro Tonali, serving the first game of a 10-month ban for betting offences.

They were inches away from an early opener when Joelinton dropped deep to receive Kieran Trippier’s pass and feed Sean Longstaff who hesitated on a cross and instead slipped a low shot narrowly wide.

But Wolves, who had won only two of their previous 16 Premier League matches against the Magpies, were applying pressure of their own with some confident play, yet struggling to test Nick Pope.

It was almost against the run of play that Wilson put Newcastle in front in the 22nd minute. Sa came but failed to collect Anthony Gordon’s cross, colliding with Boubacar Traore, and though Wilson’s first shot was blocked by Toti the ball bounced up and Wilson turned it home.

Wolves responded well, with Cunha twice denied before Pedro Neto cut inside and forced Pope to push his shot over. The hosts levelled from the resulting corner as Lemina got the right side of Trippier at the far post to head in Neto’s delivery.

But Newcastle were awarded a contentious penalty on the stroke of half-time, with Schar appearing to kick the turf as he tumbled over when challenging Hwang.

Contact looked minimal and there was a lengthy check from VAR Jarred Gillett before Taylor’s decision was upheld and Wilson restored Newcastle’s lead.

Wolves were screaming for a spot-kick of their own in first-half stoppage time after Pope came out of his box and failed to gather, but there was only the slightest graze of the ball against the fingers of Bruno Guimaraes as he challenged Cunha.

Wolverhampton blood pressures continued to rise early in the second half as a string of decisions went Newcastle’s way and the game became scrappy.

The home fans wanted a red card when Lascelles stopped the run of Hwang as he tried to go through on goal, but Taylor deemed a yellow sufficient.

That frustration was relieved in the 71st minute when Hwang made up for conceding the penalty with a fine equaliser, played in by Toti and leaving Dan Burn in a heap before rifling home.

Neto powered forward again in the 74th minute but just as he looked ready to pull the trigger he pulled up holding his hamstring, and neither side could find a winner at a damp Molineux.

The sight of a bloodied and bandaged Alexander Isak scrapping with Paris St Germain’s defence signalled a new step in his blossoming career for Newcastle boss Eddie Howe.

Isak rekindled memories of Magpies warhorse Alan Shearer during Wednesday night’s 4-1 Champions League demolition of the French champions when – after he had been left bleeding in a clash of heads with full-back Lucas Hernandez – he picked himself up and redoubled his efforts to spearhead the attack once again.

Head coach Howe was delighted with the 24-year-old Sweden international’s response to his midweek misfortune.

He said: “Especially in recent weeks, I’ve seen a real desire off the ball from Alex to press, to work, to set the standards, really, from the front in terms of how we play off the ball and I think he’s been terrific.

“It was not nice to see him cut and bandaged, I’d never say that, but it was nice to see a response to it. He responded and worked even harder, so full credit to him.”

Isak scored twice in his first three games for Newcastle, including a fine strike on his debut at Liverpool, but was then sidelined for almost four months with a thigh injury he sustained on international duty, although Howe admits even that enforced lay-off proved fruitful.

He said: “It was a big change for him when he came to England because just the style of play and our style of play is different, so I think there was a period of adjustment for him.

“But I think probably what helped him, actually, was his early injury gave him a chance to sit back and watch the team and to understand the expectations and how we do things. Sometimes you can see that even clearer from watching.”

Former Real Sociedad frontman Isak, who is again likely to lead the line at West Ham on Sunday with Callum Wilson – like midfielder Joelinton – battling a hamstring injury, is the newly-enriched club’s record signing with his fee eventually set to reach £63million.

But his efforts this week have been celebrated no more than those of defender Fabian Schar, whose £3m price tag when he joined the club from Deportivo la Coruna in July 2018, is starting to look like a spectacular bargain.

Schar’s form under Howe has been superb and the 31-year-old capped a fine defensive display against PSG superstar Kylian Mbappe and company with a stunning injury-time strike from distance.

 

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Howe said: “It’s not about price because that’s only what someone pays and what someone agrees to receive for the player. He’s just been excellent, he really has.

“It’s not a conventional centre-half’s finish that, it’s a centre-forward’s finish, really. But he has the capability to produce moments that take your breath away. Technically he is so good.

“If he was starting his career now, he’d be worth an absolute fortune. He’s a top player and I’m really pleased that he’s getting the consistency and the accolades for his performances.”

Alexander Isak fired Newcastle into the Carabao Cup fourth round at the expense of Manchester City.

The Sweden international struck eight minutes after the break to seal a 1-0 victory for the Magpies – their first over City in any competition in 11 attempts – in front of a crowd of 51,692 at St James Park.

Their place in the draw was reward for a dogged display by a team featuring 10 changes to the one which started Sunday’s 8-0 Premier League victory Sheffield United, but one which was particularly hard-earned after they were given the run-around before the break by Pep Guardiola’s under-studies.

Guardiola made eight changes, three of them to include Mateo Kovacic, Kalvin Phillips and Jack Grealish, and – while having indicated in advance that the competition was the least of his priorities – saw his side dominate for long periods but ultimately fail to turn the pressure they exerted into goals.

With Phillips and Kovacic controlling the midfield battle, the Magpies were absent as an attacking force for much of the first half.

By contrast the link between Rico Lewis, Oscar Bobb – making his first senior start – and Sergio Gomez down the City right proved profitable repeatedly.

Goalkeeper Nick Pope was called upon for the first time with 18 minutes gone when Bobb turned smartly on Phillips’ ball to feet and raced towards goal before feeding Julian Alvarez, whose low shot was blocked by the keeper’s boot.

Paul Dummett had to make a perfectly-timed challenge to deny Grealish a clear run at goal and Sandro Tonali threw himself into the path of Kovacic’s goal-bound strike with Newcastle’s inability to retain the ball causing them all kinds of problems.

Alvarez blazed a 28th-minute shot across goal after running on to Bobb’s clever flick from Kovacic’s square ball as the home side chased shadows, although they might have changed the narrative of the first half four minutes before the break.

Joelinton’s interception on halfway allowed Isak to feed Jacob Murphy, who surged forward before firing across keeper Stefan Ortega, who blocked with a leg.

Eddie Howe made a double change before the restart, replacing Lewis Hall and 17-year-old midfielder Lewis Miley, who was also starting for the first time, with Bruno Guimaraes and Anthony Gordon and the Magpies instantly had a better balance.

Tonali saw a 48th-minute shot blocked after he, Murphy and Tino Livramento had combined down the right and Newcastle were ahead five minutes later.

Murphy cut inside and found Joelinton, who powered his way into the penalty area before smashing the ball across goal from a tight angle to find the unmarked Isak, who finished with ease at the far post.

In an instant, the atmosphere inside St James’ Park changed with the visitors finding themselves under sustained pressure for the first time.

Grealish curled a 75th-minute shot into Pope’s arms as City responded, but their efforts were tepid and Guardiola was booked by referee Chris Kavanagh as he vented his frustration on the sideline.

His mood did not improve as City’s weak efforts to redeem themselves came to nothing despite Phil Foden’s introduction.

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe is confident there is more to come from his own “Thierry Henry” after seeing record signing Alexander Isak light up the Premier League.

The Magpies’ £60million summer recruit has been in sensational form since returning from a four-month injury lay-off, taking his tally for the season to 10 goals as he battles Callum Wilson for the right to lead the line.

However, it was a stunning assist in Thursday night’s 4-1 win at Everton which drew comparisons with the mercurial Frenchman as he picked up the ball on halfway and skipped past three defenders on a mesmerising run before crossing for Jacob Murphy to tap in at the far post.

Asked if he could see the comparison, head coach Howe said: “Yes, I can, I can see the comparisons there.

“Everyone is different, there are no two players that are the same, but I do think he has some of the characteristics Thierry had.

“He’s certainly got the speed and a similar build and frame. The footwork for the assist was truly remarkable, really, and I think he’s got a lot of potential to improve and get better.

“But it’s been a great start for him here.”

Eyebrows were raised when Newcastle opted to invest so heavily to prise the now 23-year-old away from Real Sociedad in their search for added firepower, but their faith has been richly rewarded.

Isak scored a stunning debut goal at Liverpool in August, but after just three appearances for the club, damaged a thigh muscle on international duty with Sweden and was sidelined until January.

However, his rich vein of form has been key to the Magpies’ surge into Champions League contention – he has scored four times in his last five games – although his intervention at Goodison Park came from the bench as Howe rotated his in-form frontmen.

Asked if Isak has proved an even better player than he had anticipated, he said: “I don’t think you ever know with absolute certainty.

“Anyone who says that would be lying because until you work with a player close-up and you see them every day, I don’t think you ever know what their true capability is.

“But we’ve been very impressed with everything that he’s delivered to this point, not just technically on the pitch, but his character and how he’s handled certain situations. He’s been first class.”

Nevertheless, Isak will have to wait to see if he gets another chance to impress when struggling Southampton visit St James’ Park on Sunday with Howe having rested Wilson for the trip to Brentford earlier this month after he had scored twice at West Ham, and then done the same to the Swede following his double against Tottenham on Sunday.

Newcastle United boosted their hopes of Champions League qualification and left Tottenham's own chances reeling as Jacob Murphy and Alexander Isak both scored twice in a 6-1 rout of their top-four rivals.

Murphy struck either side of Joelinton beating Hugo Lloris as Eddie Howe's team enjoyed a dream start, racing into a 3-0 lead within nine minutes at a jubilant St James' Park.

Their lead stood at 5-0 after 21 minutes as Spurs imploded, Isak netting twice to kill any hopes of a fightback from the visitors – who withdrew captain Lloris at half-time.

While Harry Kane pulled one back after the break, Callum Wilson restored Newcastle's five-goal cushion as they moved six points clear of Tottenham, with a game in hand still to come.

Newcastle needed just 63 seconds to go ahead, Murphy finishing high into the roof of the net after Lloris pushed Joelinton's tame effort straight into his path.

Tottenham showed no signs of being shocked into life by that goal, Joelinton beating their offside trap to round Lloris and finish into an empty net four minutes later.

Spurs' start went from bad to worse as they found themselves 3-0 down within nine minutes, Murphy leaving Lloris stranded as he rifled into the bottom-left corner from 25 yards out.

Kane shot wide as Spurs sought a response, but Isak killed the contest with his quickfire double, side-footing home when sent clear by Joe Willock, then finishing low across goal two minutes later.

Sean Longstaff almost added a sixth shortly before the interval, when Cristian Stellini hooked the error-prone Lloris in favour of Fraser Forster.

Kane denied Nick Pope a clean sheet with a neat left-footed finish, but Spurs' punishment was not done as substitute Wilson tapped home one minute after entering the fray.

What does it mean? Spurs hit new low as Magpies soar

Stellini called on Tottenham to do the business in the biggest week of their season ahead of this game, but their capitulation to a top-four rival may end up being the enduring image of his stint as interim boss.

Never before had Spurs conceded five goals in the first half of a Premier League game, but Newcastle required just 21 minutes to bring up that tally as the visitors collapsed.

Only once before in the Premier League has a team taken an earlier five-goal lead, with Manchester City doing so in 18 minutes when they routed Watford 8-0 in September 2019.  

Newcastle share the load

Newcastle's attackers were everywhere as they swarmed Spurs in the opening exchanges – causing Stellini to hook Pape Sarr and introduce another centre-back after the fifth goal.

While Isak led the line energetically and showcased his finishing ability with two goals in as many minutes, it was very much a collective effort.

Newcastle have now had three different players score 10 or more goals in a single Premier League season for the first time (Isak, Wilson and Miguel Almiron).

Supporting cast on song

It was a great day for Newcastle's unsung heroes, with Murphy registering two goal involvements in a single game for just the second time for the Magpies – previously doing so in an EFL Cup tie against Morecambe.

Joelinton, meanwhile, reached nine goal contributions for the campaign in all competitions (seven goals, two assists), matching his previous season-high tally from 2020-21.

What's next?

Newcastle visit relegation-threatened Everton in their next Premier League game on Thursday, when Tottenham will attempt to respond to their latest humiliation at home to Manchester United.

Alexander Isak hit a clinical double to give Newcastle United a 2-1 victory at Nottingham Forest and believes the Magpies can soar after the international break.

The Swedish striker tucked away a late penalty to earn the win at the City Ground, moving Newcastle to 47 points from 26 games.

They sit one point behind fourth-placed Tottenham with a game in hand and are five points better off than Liverpool.

Several of their players will disperse to represent their countries over the next fortnight, before the battle for Premier League places resumes.

Emmanuel Dennis put Forest ahead in Friday's contest with a high-quality chip in the 26th minute, but Newcastle drew level moments before half-time as Isak volleyed in Joe Willock's cross.

Newcastle's Elliot Anderson had a goal disallowed midway through the second half, with team-mate Sean Longstaff ruled to have been offside in the build-up.

It looked set to finish level, but a rash handball from Moussa Niakhate gave Newcastle a stoppage-time penalty and Isak made no mistake with a confident strike from the spot.

Asked about the scrap for Champions League places, Isak said on Sky Sports: "We feel confident. We spoke about how it's very important to go into this break with a good feeling.

"Hopefully this will give us energy for when we come back."

He felt Newcastle "were not on it" in the first half and spoke in the dressing room about the need to step up their level.

"We came out in the second half and changed our game and we played really well and we got rewarded as well," Isak added.

Isak celebrated with the thousands of Newcastle fans who made the trip and said: "Those late winners are the best goals to score."

It was Newcastle's first league win of the season after conceding the opening goal in a game, although at one point head coach Eddie Howe was concerned it might be "one of those nights".

When it was explained to Howe that the comeback feat was a first for his team in the competition this term, he said: "I think that's in part because we've been so good this season that we've led in a lot of games, but it's nice to be able to have that in your game."

Forest, in a relegation battle, have now lost 15 points from winning positions in the Premier League this season, with only Bournemouth (17) and Leicester City (19) having lost more.

Howe was baffled by the decision to deny 20-year-old midfielder Anderson what would have been his first senior goal for Newcastle.

"I couldn't believe it at the time," Howe said. "I'd need to be sat down and explained the rules on that one. I'm disappointed for Elliot because it would have been a massive moment in his career."

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe is hopeful record-signing Alexander Isak will be fit for when the Premier League resumes after the World Cup despite his injury being "longer-term" than first thought.

Isak joined Newcastle from Real Sociedad in a deal potentially worth a reported £64.8million (€75m) in August, smashing the club's previous transfer record of just under £40m (€46.3m) for Joelinton.

Newcastle had been linked with numerous strikers throughout pre-season as they looked to build on Howe's positive start at St James' Park last season, although the newly minted club had been put off by valuations they felt were trying to take advantage of their new-found Saudi wealth.

With the season already a few weeks old, Newcastle eventually stumped up the cash for Isak, and he made a positive start with two goals in three games, but the 23-year-old suffered a thigh injury on international duty with Sweden in late September and has not played since.

Isak had already been ruled out until after the World Cup, and although Howe revealed on Friday the injury is more severe than initially thought, Newcastle expect him to be back in training in December when the club have a mini pre-season to prepare for the Premier League's Boxing Day return.

"Alex has been having a couple of injections into his thigh," Howe told reporters ahead of Saturday's visit of Aston Villa. "I believe that's gone well, and the medical team are happy where he currently stands.

"But it is a longer-term injury, a five- or six-week injury. As I've said before, he won't be back before the World Cup break.

"We're hopeful, as we begin our second pre-season, he is ready to train."

Newcastle's last pre-World Cup game is on November 12 at home to Chelsea, and they return to action just over six weeks later on December 26, away to Leicester City.

The club have already confirmed plans to visit Saudi Arabia for a training camp, as they did in January.

That trip will include a friendly against Saudi Pro League champions Al-Hilal, scheduled for December 8.

Real Sociedad were delighted to land their two priority targets in Alexander Sorloth and Umar Sadiq after the late sale of Alexander Isak prompted a frantic final week of the transfer window.

La Real sold star striker Isak to Newcastle United last Friday in a club-record €70million deal.

That move happened quickly, with Sociedad president Jokin Aperribay confirming the club had expected to keep Isak in this window as recently as the previous weekend.

"It has been a difficult week," he said, presenting Sadiq as a Sociedad player after his signing from Almeria was secured on Thursday.

"It's been a summer full of rumours. When a player's [Isak's] agent tells you on a Monday at 10pm that he's coming to San Sebastian with a club the next day, the first thing you think of is that they have an agreement between them.

"We had a week left and we thought about Real Sociedad; it was not the time to discuss too much but to take action."

He added: "On Sunday, we didn't think that Alex was going to leave; on Monday, we started the talks [with Newcastle]; on Tuesday, we concluded them; and on Wednesday, we started working on the signings."

Fortunately, La Real had a plan, having first fielded interest from Newcastle in Isak earlier in the window.

"We thought we were going to sign two players, which is what we had thought of in June," Aperribay said. "We thought of Sorloth on loan and Sadiq to replace Isak.

"We started those conversations, first with Leipzig and then with Almeria."

Sorloth, who had spent last season on loan at Sociedad, scoring four LaLiga goals alongside Isak, quickly returned on another temporary deal.

But the €20m move for Sadiq took a little more time, concluded after "an intense 48 hours".

Now, though, Imanol's side are in a position of strength, having made a huge profit on Isak while bringing in a player in Sadiq who scored 38 goals across two seasons in the second tier with Almeria and has already added two in three games in LaLiga this term.

His signing was crucial, as fellow attackers Carlos Fernandez and Mikel Oyarzabal remain out injured.

"We had to be aware that when you come out of an injury you don't go from nought to 100," Aperribay said. "We have to support the youngsters and be patient with Carlos and Oyarzabal. That's how we approach the season."

He added: "Sadiq was the first on the list. We knew that with Isak we had a risk that became a reality last week, and we have acted as planned."

Erling Haaland continued his incredible start to life in the Premier League with a record-setting treble in Manchester City's 6-0 thrashing of Nottingham Forest.

The Norway international made it two hat-tricks in the space of five days – and a perfect one at that, with his right foot, left foot and head – in City's latest statement victory.

Meanwhile, Liverpool left it late to see off Newcastle United 2-1 at Anfield.

There were goals and drama elsewhere on Wednesday, too, and Stats Perform unpacks the pick of the data.

Manchester City 6-0 Nottingham Forest: Haaland makes history

Haaland now has nine goals in five Premier League games since joining City from Borussia Dortmund – the best start of any player in the competition's history at this stage.

He surpassed the record of eight goals previously held by Micky Quinn and City great Sergio Aguero, the man he is effectively replacing at the Etihad Stadium.

The prolific striker is just the seventh player to score a hat-trick in back-to-back games in the competition and the first since Harry Kane did so for Tottenham in December 2017.

Fellow newbie Julian Alvarez also scored twice, while Joao Cancelo netted the other as City bagged five or more goals in a league game for the 32nd time under Pep Guardiola.

That accounts for 14 per cent of City's games under the Catalan coach in the competition, with that tally more than twice as many as any other side over that period (Liverpool, 15).

The only side to have exceeded the 18 goals City have scored after five games of a Premier League season were Manchester United, who had 21 to their name at this stage 11 years ago.

Liverpool 2-1 Newcastle United: Carvalho the late hero

Newcastle led with an hour played at Anfield, only for Roberto Firmino to level and Fabio Carvalho to fire home in the 98th minute to snatch all three points for Liverpool.

That was the 40th winning Premier League goal scored by Liverpool in the 90th minute or later – the most of any side – with three of those coming in this fixture.

Timed at 97 minutes and nine seconds, it was Liverpool's latest goal in the top flight since Dirk Kuyt's penalty against Arsenal in April 2011 (101:48).

Alexander Isak had earlier given Newcastle the lead with a debut goal, making him the sixth Swedish player to net on his Premier League bow.

Arsenal 2-1 Aston Villa: Martinelli keeps Gunners perfect

Arsenal dug deep to overcome Villa and make it five wins in a row to begin a league campaign for the first time since the 2004-05 season, when they went on to finish second.

Gabriel Jesus steered Arsenal ahead for his sixth goal involvement in his first five Premier League outings for the club, breaking Mesut Ozil's previous record of five.

Douglas Luiz equalised directly from a corner, but Arsenal hit back just 151 seconds later through Gabriel Martinelli, who converted Bukayo Saka's cross.

That was Saka's 17th Premier League assist – only Cesc Fabregas (38), Wayne Rooney (22) and Michael Owen (18) had more before turning 21.

West Ham 1-1 Tottenham: Soucek denies Spurs

Tottenham could not see out a lead at London Stadium as they were denied the chance to make their best start to a Premier League season after five games.

Thilo Kehrer turned a Harry Kane delivery into his own net, with that a league-high seventh own goal scored by West Ham since the start of the 2020-21 season.

Tomas Soucek levelled for West Ham with his 19th Premier League goal, each of those coming from inside the 18-yard box.

That strike was assisted by Michail Antonio on his 200th league appearance for West Ham, whose tally of two goals after five games is their fewest since 1994-95 (one).

While Spurs could not hold on for the win, they are unbeaten after five games in the competition for only the third time, having previously done so in 2004-05 and 2016-17.

Newcastle United were without club-record signing Alexander Isak and key man Bruno Guimaraes for Sunday's clash with Wolves.

Isak joined Newcastle in a £59million (€70m) deal from LaLiga side Real Sociedad on Friday.

However, the striker is not eligible to play for Eddie Howe's side against Wolves as he has not yet received a work permit, meaning he will have to wait for his Premier League debut.

Howe instead selected Chris Wood, who scored twice for Newcastle last season after signing from Burnley in January, to lead the line in the absence of Callum Wilson, who is out with a hamstring injury.

Newcastle are also without influential midfielder Guimaraes after the Brazil international sustained an injury in Wednesday's EFL Cup tie with Tranmere Rovers.

Guimaraes only came on as an 85th-minute substitute in that 2-1 comeback win.

It made sense for Newcastle United to first focus on their defence as they approached the transfer market armed with the millions of Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund.

The Magpies had shipped 80 Premier League goals in 2021 – a competition record for a calendar year – and entered the new year in the relegation zone.

Three defenders arrived in Newcastle's first transfer window under new ownership, with loan star Matt Targett signing again at the end of the season on a permanent deal.

Goalkeeper Nick Pope followed as Eddie Howe prepared for his first full season in charge, and so too did highly rated centre-back Sven Botman.

Over the past two windows, in Pope, Kieran Trippier, Botman, Dan Burn and Targett, the Magpies have signed an entire new back five – and it has paid off.

Entering the weekend, only Liverpool (15) and Manchester City (17) have conceded fewer goals than Newcastle (23) in 2022 among ever-present Premier League sides.

Howe's men ended last season a commendable 11th and are in the top six after three weeks of the new campaign, with their form since January tied for fourth.

However, the three teams to have earned more points in 2022 have scored considerably more goals than Newcastle (30) – Liverpool (48), City (57) and Tottenham (54).

Speaking in April of the key to Newcastle improving further in 2022-23, Howe said: "Ultimately, we need to score more goals – that's very clear.

"From open play, set plays – whatever it is – we need more goals, and we'd love someone to be right at the top of the goalscoring charts. If you do, it gives you a much better chance of being successful consistently."

Since those comments, Callum Wilson – out from the end of 2021 – has returned and netted four goals in six matches, one every 112 minutes on average.

But Wilson's latest strike against City on Sunday was followed by yet another injury, hampering his chances of being Howe's man at the top of the scoring charts.

When Wilson was injured heading into the January window, Newcastle responded by signing Chris Wood from Burnley for £25million. This time, they have moved for Alexander Isak, a £59m (€70m) record buy from Real Sociedad.

The Magpies were already in the market for a forward, but Howe himself acknowledged on Friday they would not have struck quite such an ambitious deal if not for Wilson's setback.

Through combinations of form and fitness, neither Wilson (eight), Wood (five) nor Isak (six) reached double-figures in the league last season, yet they have each netted at least 30 since the start of the 2019-20 season – Isak's first at La Real.

In Wilson (30), Wood (31) and Isak (33), Newcastle have three of the 69 forwards – as classified by Opta – to reach that mark in Europe's top five leagues over that period.

Barcelona (Robert Lewandowski, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Memphis Depay), Inter (Romelu Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez, Edin Dzeko), Paris Saint-Germain (Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi, Neymar), RB Leipzig (Andre Silva, Timo Werner, Christopher Nkunku) and Tottenham (Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, Richarlison) are the only other clubs to presently own three of these players.

For the first time in a long time, Newcastle have real depth in attack.

Crucially, with Wilson and Wood both 30, 22-year-old Isak can grow with this side, too; just three of those other 68 forwards are still 22 or younger (Erling Haaland, Dusan Vlahovic, Jonathan David).

This young age might excuse a poor 2021-22 campaign, in which Isak underperformed his expected goals tally of 11.2 and saw his shot conversion rate slump to 8.2 per cent, netting every 359 minutes.

Newcastle are backing the forward to return to his levels of 2019-20 (nine goals, 7.5 xG, 20.5 per cent shot conversion, 166 mins per goal) and 2020-21 (17 goals, 16.8 xG, 21.0 shot conversion, 139 mins per goal).

And despite the size of the fee involved in this transfer, Isak might actually find himself under less pressure on Tyneside, where Wilson will remain the main man when fit.

The England forward is expected back in a fortnight, and Howe has already spoken of using the two as a pair; in Newcastle's 4-3-3 formation, Isak – who ranked eighth among LaLiga strikers for carries (212), seventh for carry distance (2,683 metres) and joint-sixth for carries with a shot (22) – could be utilised out wide.

For now at least, Isak is not the headline act, feeling the weight of Newcastle's season on his shoulders – in complete contrast to the situation Joelinton, the club's previous record signing, found when arriving in 2019 as a struggling side's sole centre-forward.

This time, Newcastle have bought from a position of strength, and Isak's career on Tyneside should be all the better for it.

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