How Newcastle United struck gold following striker’s decision to move to PSG

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Newcastle United chased Hugo Ekitike’s signature for two transfer windows.

The young Frenchman was one of the hottest properties in Europe throughout the 2021/22 season, scoring 10 goals in just 24 appearances for Stade Reims. This form led Newcastle, who were on the hunt for a striker following Callum Wilson’s injury, to show major interest in the Frenchman.

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Ultimately, Chris Wood would make the move to St James’ Park whilst Ekitike would reject the chance to join the club. Their interest continued into the summer but by then, PSG had shown interest and for Newcastle, that was pretty much game over.

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Missing out on Ekitike’s signature meant the Magpies had to move onto other options - and one of those was Alexander Isak. Having scored eight times in 13 Premier League games this season, including a few stunning efforts thrown into the mix, the decision has been completely vindicated.

Sure, the opportunity to sign Isak may not have arisen had Ekitike joined Newcastle - and of course, there’s no reason why Ekitike couldn’t have posted similar numbers to Isak had he moved to Tyneside. However, in Isak, Newcastle have got a player they can rely on to lead their line for years to come and someone who has already shown an eye for goal, despite not even having half a season’s worth of appearances under his belt.

Spending £63m on Isak was a risk, but the club had identified him as one of their top targets and when he became available to sign, they moved swiftly to get his signature. Isak’s brilliant form means failure to land Ekitike is simply a distant dream.