Expected to be the ‘next big thing’ on Tyneside, a reality check has quickly been needed for Newcastle’s summer signing, Sandro Tonali.
The midfield genius is expected to be restored to the starting line-up for the Magpies trip to the San Siro, giving him an immediate reunion with his former AC Milan team-mates.
Eddie Howe’s side are going to need all of his insider knowledge to hand before the game, and all of his nous and creativity during it, in what is Newcastle’s first Champions League match in over two decades.
Getting off to a winning start would be a real boon for the men from St. James’ Park, given that their other two opponents in the group stage are Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund.
A much-needed victory over Brentford at the weekend should have given the side some confidence heading into the tie after three straight Premier League defeats, including at Brighton and Hove Albion where Tonali was poor.
It would appear that his performance during that match against the Seagulls is what has prompted Eddie Howe’s u-turn.
According to The Telegraph (subscription required), the manager has finally acceded to Tonali having his own personal translator – who may even be used in the dressing room in order that the player fully understands his positional responsibilities/
Any problems with the language barrier can then potentially be ironed out, though it does set a dangerous precedent for anyone else that professes not to understand tactical details or what the manager has to say.