June 25, 2024

Newcastle United will meet Bournemouth in the Premier League today without a designated striker for the second time this season.

That is, unless Eddie Howe was downplaying Alexander Isak’s return date in order to surprise him this afternoon, which is highly likely.

Callum Wilson and Isak are both expected to miss today’s game, leaving Anthony Gordon as the likely leader of the line against Bournemouth.

 

Newcastle United - Callum Wilson

Newcastle can not go into next season with just two strikers

We’ve been in this predicament a couple times this season, and we shouldn’t have to go through it again next year. Simply put, the club must enter the transfer market to ensure that we have three strikers in the team for next season.

When Eddie Howe was questioned on this during his media briefing on Friday (via The Chronicle), he responded oddly. It began normally with him remarking that strikers are pricey, which is a given, but it ended on an unusual note for me.

“If you have an injury to one of the two strikers that we have then, of course, you’re going to look at it and think, ‘We need a striker. The issue that we have is they’re usually very expensive and, then, if those two strikers are fit, what do you do with the third one?

 

Alexander Isak: Sweden striker edging towards full fitness just in time to  boost Newcastle's top-four chase | Football News | Sky Sports

“It’s not as easy as, ‘Do you need a striker? Let’s go and get one’ because we’re having to be very smart with the money that we do have, with Financial Fair Play and putting that money into the best positions possible so it’s a delicate balance.”

That’s what the bench is for, Eddie

What will you do with the third one? You place them on the bench, Eddie; you’re the boss, and they’ll do everything you say. Furthermore, keeping Callum Wilson will never be an issue because he will spend the majority of the season lying on the bed in the treatment room.

We recognize that there is a delicate balance to be struck in the team; not everyone will be content as a benchwarmer, but every player understands how the game works and that they cannot play every game. Having an additional striker is what we term a ‘good problem’; you should try it sometime.

If avoiding upsetting a player is the rationale for not signing a striker this summer, I’m really not sure what’s going on.

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