Alexander Isak started his Premier League career with the loudest of bangs and, naturally, got many Newcastle and neutral fans excited. In fact, except for Erling Haaland, no young EPL forward has generated as much hype.
But is all of this warranted? What do the stats tell us about the Swede’s performances, and are we better off waiting for Isak to develop further?
Alexander Isak’s pre-Premier League stats
Isak has been one of the most talked about wonderkids for years. This in itself could mean very little. From Dele Alli to Jadon Sancho, the EPL’s benches are filled with youngish players who once possessed unbelievable potential.
Alexander Isak‘s stats, however, tell the story of a player who has developed slower than others but steadily through the years.
He made his debut in 2016, at 17 years of age, playing for AIK Stockholm. Isak made 24 appearances and scored 10 goals in the Swedish first tier.
This led to a transfer to Borussia Dortmund, a team known for hurting young talent. He made only a handful of appearances here during three seasons but developed his skill.
Loaned out to Willem II, he used this opportunity to score 13 times and provide 6 goals in the highly scouted Eredivisie. He also began receiving call-ups for the Sweden national team.
This allowed Isak to get a new chance, being transferred to Real Sociedad. Here, he was an integral part of one of La Liga’s most exciting sides. Playing alongside similarly touted wonderkids and experienced pros like David Silva, Isak scored 33 goals and offered 5 assists from 2019 to 2023.
It wasn’t just the goals that made Isak stand out. During his time in Spain, he sharpened his extraordinary dribbling skills. Furthermore, his aerial game, free-kicks and tactical acumen all improved.
Isak’s stats for Newcastle in 2023
Alexander Isak was one of the marquee signings made by the nouveau-rich EPL club, Newcastle United. It cost the club over 70 million euros plus add-ons to bring Isak to St. James’ Park.
In his first season, Isak made 22 appearances for Newcastle. Eddie Howe’s tactics have Isak playing as the team’s lone striker. From this position, he scored 10 goals and provided one assist in his first campaign while averaging 2.3 shots per game and winning 1 aerial duel, on average, per 90 minutes.
He made a strong impression in matches against Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, AFC Bournemouth or Manchester United.
Is the 2023/24 season an improvement? It looks like it could be. Isak has scored 2 goals out of 3 games. While his shots-on-target ratio, passing and aerial ability have declined shortly, he has become a more important part of Howe’s planning.
Throughout the last year, Isak has been involved in 2.92 shot-creating actions per 90 minutes, has made 2.76 progressive passes per game, and has had 5.85 touches in the opposition’s penalty box.
A simple player comparison shows that Isak’s stats are similar to those of Jonathan David, Breel Embolo, Nicolas Jackson. These are some of the most promising young forwards in football at the moment.
Simply put, the stats show that Isak isn’t just scoring easy tap-in goals. Howe is tasking him with making risky choices that can influence the game’s development. Plus, we will soon get to see him perform with Newcastle in the Champions League against the continent’s best players.
Alexander Isak in fantasy football
Although it’s still early in the season, Isak looks like a reliable choice for your fantasy football side. He has managed 77 points in FootballCoin. While that leaves him just outside of the Top 20 Forwards in the league, Newcastle’s ascendence and Isak’s performances make him a player worth keeping tabs on.
Alexander Isak is now making good on his promise. With luck, he can shortly develop into one of the best strikers in the world.