Alexander Isak has ‘X factor’ to flourish at Newcastle, insists Eddie Howe

Eddie Howe believes Alexander Isak possesses the “X factor” to succeed at Newcastle United and is convinced the £59m Sweden striker is ideally suited to the English game.

The 22-year-old’s club record move from Real Sociedad on a six-year contract was confirmed on Friday, and Newcastle’s manager is planning to give Isak a debut during Sunday’s visit to Wolves.

“He has pace, technical ability, dribbling ability,” said Howe, who has made signings totalling £210m since succeeding Steve Bruce at St James’ Park last November. “He’s got a bit of the X factor about him.

“Alex is slightly different and I think he’s capable of scoring goals. He’s technically very good and has a mix of qualities I really like in a forward player. For such a young player, he’s had a lot of experiences thrown at him, playing for big clubs in Germany [with Borussia Dortmund], the Netherlands [Willem II] and Spain [Real Sociedad].

“The English game will suit his profile. He’s a really good athlete with a host of things going for him and his best years are ahead of him. He’s a very exciting signing for us.”

Although Isak is expected to begin on the bench at Wolves, with Chris Wood starting at centre-forward, his arrival is timely given that the immensely talented, but injury prone, Callum Wilson, until now Howe’s principal striker, will be sidelined by hamstring trouble for at least a fortnight.

Newcastle’s manager is adamant Isak and Wilson are sufficiently different to eventually play together and is confident the latter will continue to be an important player.

“I back Callum 100%,” said Howe, who managed Wilson at Bournemouth. “I’ve known him for a long, long time and have never met anyone with a better attitude or a better professional. I back him and his body. Callum’s such an important part of our future.”

Howe confirmed that the club continue to talk to Manchester United about Martin Dubravka’s mooted move to Old Trafford but said he would be “reluctant” to lose the Slovakia goalkeeper, who has been replaced as first choice by England’s Nick Pope this season.