Alan Shearer is spot on - Newcastle United simply can't make this 'bonkers' transfer move

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The Geordie legend has already delivered his verdict on one potential transfer move Newcastle could make this summer - and it wasn’t a positive one!

Who better to assess the merits of Newcastle United’s current goalscorer than the man that has scored more goals than any other player in the club’s long and proud history?

This is a man that was once a world record signing, a striker that ‘came home’ to wear the legendary number nine shirt and followed in the footsteps of club legends like ‘Wor’ Jackie Milburn and ‘Supermac’ Malcolm MacDonald. A man that, by his own admission, lived the dream and wrote his names into the history books by plundering his way to 206 goals during a ten-year stay at St. James’ Park.

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Of course, that man is Alan Shearer and it would be worth paying attention when he delivers a positive verdict on one of his successors at St. James’ Park. Alexander Isak may not be wearing the number nine shirt that once adorned Shearer’s back and he may have different attributes to those possessed by the former England captain - but there is no doubt the Sweden international has more than merited the seal of approval recently given to him by the Geordie legend.

“He’s very good. He’s a very, very good player,” said Shearer as he discussed Isak with Gary Lineker and Micah Richards on the excellent The Rest Is Football podcast. "He’s a modern day forward… do you know the trend now, rather than centre-forward, he’s a forward. He’s a brilliant example of that. He’s had one or two injuries this season but whilst he’s been on the pitch he hasbeen absolutely magnificent. He’s brilliant at running in behind because he’s quick and once he’s away you’re not catching him. He’s also very clever at coming short and dragging defenders in with them, therefore leaving space in behind. He’s a very clever, intelligent player and he’s got great ability. They’re sat on a great asset and it would be absolutely bonkers if Newcastle, for whatever reason, sold him in the summer.”

Ah yes! The great debate many outsiders seem to thrive on having when it comes to Newcastle - which up-for-grabs asset will be moved on during the summer transfer window as the Magpies continue their fight with the Premier League’s profit and sustainability regulations and UEFA’s financial fair play laws. As it stands Isak and influential midfielder Bruno Guimaraes are the two most discussed players when it comes to speculation over possible sales.

Losing either, to use Shearer’s parlance, would be ‘absolutely bonkers’ - and the question is not how much could you get for either player, the question should be how much would it cost to replace either. It was confirmed last week that Guimaraes does indeed have a £100m release clause placed into his current contract at St. James’ Park - although that will expire at the end of June. Isak does not seem to have such a clause written into his current deal but there is talk Newcastle could move to offer the former Borussia Dortmund and Real Sociedad striker a new contract in an attempt to ward off interest from elsewhere and ensure he becomes the focal point for the Magpies attack for many years to come.

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Assessing the impact of both players is a challenge given their differing attributes and positions. There is an argument to suggest when Guimaraes plays well, Newcastle play well. But when Isak isn’t on his game, which is a rare phenomena these days, Newcastle rarely look like troubling the opposition defence. The Swede is now in the form of his life and, coupled with the impressive form of England Euro 2024 hopeful Anthony Gordon, the Magpies are getting the most out of a striker that may well have outscored the likes of Erling Haaland and Ollie Watkins by the time the season comes to a close later this month.

Isak, as Shearer suggested, is a more modern striker and has an ability to drop deep and impact the play or move out wide to create space for those around him. But his main threat at the moment seems to be breaking in behind opposition defences and produce cool finishes to add to his ever-increasing tally of goals. Isak’s brace in last weekend’s 5-1 defeat of Sheffield United took his total to 23 goals in 36 games in all competitions - so there is little surprise a number of clubs are hoping to tempt him away from Tyneside.

Alexander Isak has a better goals-per-game ratio (0.6) than Alan Shearer (0.49) for Newcastle UnitedAlexander Isak has a better goals-per-game ratio (0.6) than Alan Shearer (0.49) for Newcastle United
Alexander Isak has a better goals-per-game ratio (0.6) than Alan Shearer (0.49) for Newcastle United | Getty Images

Yet the question must be asked once again. Even if Newcastle were to authorise what would surely be a sale of well over £100m, just how much would they have to pay out to replace everything that an in-form Isak is giving them and that comes with the promise of further improvement given his relatively young age of just 24-years-old. It could be argued the Swede is not even at his peak and won’t actually reach such a state for at least another three years.

Newcastle will hope he is still wearing the famous black and whites by that time and there is a belief the striker can play a significant role in finally ending the long wait for major silverware at St. James’ Park. There will be a need to show ambition to persuade Isak to be part of those plans - and allowing their top goalscorer to depart over the coming months would, as Shearer suggested, be absolutely bonkers.

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