DAN BURN has selected Alexander Isak as his Player of the Season at Newcastle United – and admits it is imperative the club do everything they can to hold on to the Swedish striker this summer.

Isak scored his 21st goal of a memorable Premier League campaign at Brentford yesterday, with his tally of 25 goals in all competitions having come in just 36 starts and four substitute appearances.

There have been other standout performers over the course of the last nine months, with Newcastle having experienced a rollercoaster campaign that ended at the weekend with them guaranteed a place in next season’s UEFA Conference League provided Manchester City win Saturday’s FA Cup final at Wembley.

But when asked to nominate his own star performer, Burn was quick to highlight Isak’s contribution to the campaign.

“You can throw Gordie (Anthony Gordon) into the mix, Bruno (Guimarares) has been amazing and Fabi (Schar) won’t get as much of a mention as he should,” said Burn, in an interview with The Athletic. “But it’s Alex for me.

“To get that many Premier League goals speaks for itself. He’s world class, definitely. He’s got a bit of everything. He’s so good on the ball, he’s a great finisher, he’s got pace.”


He also has a lengthening list of admirers. A proven Premier League goalscorer is a hugely-valuable commodity, and while the summer transfer window does not officially open for another month, Isak’s name is already being linked with a number of Europe’s leading clubs.

Arsenal are known to be long-term admirers, with a world-class forward arguably the final piece of the jigsaw Mikel Arteta is assembling at the Emirates, but while the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability rules means there will always be a temptation for Newcastle to cash in on their leading lights in order to create the ability to spend themselves, Burn is adamant it is imperative Isak remains on Tyneside.

“That’s going to be the challenge, keeping hold of our best players,” said the Blyth-born defender. “You don’t want to be a club that does well and then has to sell. Obviously, (selling) is the reality of where we all are, but those are the players you’ve got to build your team around.”

Qualifying for Europe for a second season in a row should help, with Newcastle’s fate set to be settled on Saturday afternoon, when their players will be flying back from their post-season trip to Australia.

“If we get into Europe again, we’ll be able to learn from our mistakes,” said Burn. “Like getting used to not training as much – there are only a few teams that can get away with that.

“(Man) City seem to turn up and switch it on constantly. Having your motivation level at the top for every game, no matter who you’re playing. The opposition is irrelevant, it’s more like you’re at a level. Those are the things we can learn from.”