Arsenal told to forget about signing ‘the next Thierry Henry’ | Football | Sport

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It keeps him on course to better the season goal tally of Dwight Gayle, who scored 23 times in all competitions when the club won promotion from the Championship in the 2016/17 campaign. That remains the best output of any Newcastle player since Alan Shearer’s 28 in 2003/04. And Isak has already caught the eye at international level, having been capped 44 times by his country.

The pace and finishing ability of the 24-year-old have led to comparisons with Thierry Henry, and he’s been linked with a switch to the Gunners this summer. But following his latest pivotal display his manager Howe has insisted the club will be fighting to keep him.

“No one connected with Newcastle would want to lose him,” he said. “He’s an outstanding talent. I thought he was excellent against West Ham. He didn’t score in open play but his two penalties were outstanding and his general play was very good. His link play, his athleticism, he looked in a really good place.”

Isak signed for the north-east club from Real Sociedad in 2022 for just £6.2million. He agreed a six-year deal which currently runs until 2028, so there is no need for Howe and co to panic about losing him for a cut-price fee or free transfer anytime soon.

But Newcastle are currently battling to stay within Financial Fair Play regulations, and face having to reluctantly agree sales this summer to avoid sanctions. Brazilian midfielder Bruno Guimaraes is one player reportedly due to be sold, having been linked with a £90m move to PSG.

However, the Toon Army’s hopes of securing European football again next season have been boosted by their win over the Hammers, leaving them eighth and just a point off Saturday’s opponents. And Howe admitted his side are targeting a Europa League place, with a return to the Champions League seemingly looking beyond them.

“There was always that feeling that the season was alive but you have to win games and the more you don’t win, the more the season slips away very quickly,” he said. “We know the quality of the league and we know how difficult it is to win consistently.

“But that’s what we’re chasing now and being back at home was a big thing for us today and hopefully we can back that up with another good performance. Europe? We’re not going to rule anything out because I believe that you try and win every game. That’s what we’re trying to do and we’ll see what happens.”

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