NUFC’s latest signing of Anthony Gordon has divided opinion among toon fans since being announced some fans are unsure what he will add to the side.
But, here we show why this signing is a huge positive for Eddie Howe’s team, and why fans can put their worries to bed.
Newcastle United have done brilliantly this season finding themselves third in the premier league and 1-0 up going into the second leg of the EFL Carabao Cup against Southampton. But, outside their starting 11, the squad is razor thin with the options on the bench that do not match up to the players starting.
The 21-year-old forward has only made two substitute appearances since Everton’s defeat to Wolves on Boxing day, and he has been an unused substitute in their last league game against West Ham.
Despite having limited game time since November, Gordon remains the club's joint-top scorer with three league goals and he has also fired a team-topping 16 shots on target.
Among the other U21 players in the Premier League, the chart below reveals how Gordon is out on his own when it comes to hitting the target per 90 minutes and shooting accuracy — while only Bukayo Saka outguns him for open-play expected goals (xG).
In forward positions, Gordon adds to the quality that is already in the team and this added depth can boost Newcastle's top-four finish hopes. Gordon can play anywhere across the front, which aligns with Newcastle's system. This versatility is aided by the fact that he is strong on both feet. This boosts his goal threat and allows him to go past players on either side, whether that is cutting inside or beating his man on the outside.
Eddie Howe’s system, and how he has set up Newcastle to play, stems from pressurising the opponents, attacking and defending with the same intensity level, which is why Gordon slots into this team so well. Arguably, Gordon's main strength is his pace and energy, having clocked the second-fastest burst of pace in the Premier League this term at 36.61 km/h — bettered only by new Chelsea signing Mykhailo Mudryk.
These stats have shown what kind of impact Anthony Gordon can have playing in this Newcastle team. And how he can add the extra firepower going forward, which Newcastle desperately need if they hope to finish in a European spot come the end of the season.
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