Soccer-Newcastle in race against time to have Isak available for Liverpool

By Thomson Reuters Aug 30, 2022 | 6:47 AM

(Reuters) – Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe said he is hoping club-record signing Alexander Isak will be available for Wednesday’s Premier League trip to Liverpool due to delays over his international clearance.

Swedish striker Isak, who joined from Real Sociedad for a reported 59 million pounds ($69.20 million), missed out on making his debut in Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Wolverhampton Wanderers as his work permit did not come through in time.

“I still don’t know. I desperately hope so – it’d be great to see him involved,” Howe told reporters on Tuesday when asked about Isak’s availability.

“We’re in the hands of other people so we hope it gets done before the game. The cut off is 75 minutes before kick-off so it could go down to the wire.

“We’ve had minimal training with him between games but what he has done he’s done very well. He’s looked bright, keen and shown us little flashes because the sessions have been quite light. We’re certainly excited by him.”

Winger Allan Saint-Maximin and midfielder Bruno Guimaraes are doubts for Wednesday’s match, Howe added, while defender Emil Krafth is expected to be sidelined for six to nine months due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

“It’s an ACL injury. He’s not been operated on yet so it’s difficult to give a firm date but it’s going to be six to nine months – a long time out which is a huge blow to us,” Howe said.

“Maxi is a worry for us at the moment with a hamstring… (Guimaraes) is doing well. I don’t know about this game but hopefully not far after if he doesn’t make it. He’s a big player for us so we need to get him back as quickly as possible.”

Newcastle are seventh in the league standings with six points from four games. Liverpool, one point behind in ninth place, will be hoping to continue where they left off at Anfield after putting nine past Bournemouth on Saturday.

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(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)