Injured Alexander Isak eliminated until after World Cup, says Eddie Howe

Newcastle United striker Alexander Isak will not return to play until after the World Cup final after suffering an injury, manager Eddie Howe said on Tuesday.

The Swedish forward, who was signed in August in a deal reportedly worth up to £60million ($67.82million) from Real Sociedad, showed up just three times due to a thigh injury.

“We don’t think we’ll see him again before the World Cup. He’s had a setback on his thigh,” Howe told reporters ahead of Wednesday’s Premier League game with Everton.

“It’s very frustrating for him. As a new player coming to a new league and a new club you want to make an impact and he did in the first few games.”

23-year-old Isak made an immediate impression for Newcastle, scoring on his debut against Liverpool and also on goal against Bournemouth, but was injured during his international service.

“It was frustrating because he did a lot of work getting fit. He’s desperate to make his mark here,” Howe said.

“If you’re looking for something positive, we’ll see if his injury can heal and we’ll have a mini pre-season to get him in top condition.”

The World Cup starts on November 20 in Qatar and ends on December 18, and the Premier League resumes on December 26.

Newcastle have only lost once in their first 10 Premier League games, drawn six, and are sixth in the standings.

They hold the best defensive record in the Premier League with just nine goals conceded and Howe says an improved mentality has led to the huge improvement since he took charge almost a year ago after the resignation of Steve Bruce.

“We have the mentality here that we want to defend as a team, from the attackers filtering all the way back to the keeper,” said Howe.

“We also attack as a team. We try to be very brave and aggressive in all forms, whether we are attacking or defending. We are going for perfection and that is a difficult bar to hit, but we are trying to get there.”

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