EDDIE Howe believes a fully-fit and firing Alexander Isak can be "transformative" for Newcastle United, with the Magpies set to be boosted by the return of the striker at Arsenal this weekend.

Joe Willock is also in contention to feature against his former club, with both players having come through their returning to training unscathed this week.

Willock has only played three times this season because of hamstring and Achilles injuries, but Howe says the midfielder is a "huge player" for the Magpies and is hoping the 24-year-old's problems are now behind him.

As for Isak, his Newcastle career has been disrupted by several injury setbacks but Howe believes the striker is a unique Premier League talent and while he understands the importance of managing the Sweden international carefully in the weeks ahead - particularly with Callum Wilson sidelined - he's desperate for the frontman to get a run in the side.

"I hope the best is to come (from Isak)," said Howe.

"It's a difficult one. People will talk about his injuries but he's still contributed massively.

"He's an incredible player, there's nobody else like him in the Premier League in my opinion. He has talents that can transform our team and I'd love to see him stay fit and get the goals he'd love to score for us."


Isak and Willock will train again on Friday before Howe decides what part they'll play at Arsenal.

"They've trained this week, it's been good to see them back on the grass," he said.

"It's been a long time for Joe, he's been a huge player for us and it's great to see him back in amongst the group. He's a very popular member of the group.

"Alex is a really important player. He's trained very well. We're happy with both. We'll have to wait and see, we have one more training session."

Fabian Schar has shaken off the arm injury he suffered in the final stages against Bournemouth and is fit to play at Arsenal.

Elliot Anderson and Matt Target aren't yet back in training.

Howe said: "They're a little bit closer. We're still not seeing them training but they are due back very soon so that will be a huge boost."