In the Premier League 4-4 draw against Luton played on Saturday at St James’ Park the Magpies might earn a point to aid their chances at clinching a European-bound place when all is said and done, but they could have lost something much more important: young forward Anthony Gordon.
Gordon suffered an ankle injury last weekend, forcing him out of the game against relegation-zone minnows Luton at half-time and leaving NUFC even more depleted of options in an already slim forward line.
Newcastle manager Eddie Howe expressed concern over Gordon’s condition after the game revealing the injury looked “like he twisted his ankle,” that the player was “in a lot of pain at half-time,” and that he just simply couldn’t stand the pain thus getting subbed off before the start of the second half.
Howe shared more information, adding that the ankle was “sore enough for him to come off,” although the coach made clear the substitution was ”his decision—he knew he couldn’t continue.”
While the club hasn’t provided a set-in-stone timeline for Gordon’s return, Howe said Newcastle “hope it’s not bad.” Added Howe: “He’s such an important player for us and we missed him when he went off.”
The 22-year-old is not a natural striker and he was in fact signed to man the wing, not getting deployed in the opposition’s box. That said, and after an extraordinary summer playing false nine for England in the underage categories, Gordon has surprisingly scored seven goals for the Magpies this season, only trailing teammate and Sweden international forward Alexander Isak.
Gordon adds to a seemingly endless list of injured players currently featuring a plethora of key performers including starting midfielder Joelinton and goalkeeper Nick Pope, the former ruled out for the season and the latter not expected back on the pitch at least for five or six more weeks and already deep into March, possibly April.
Newcastle’s draw with Luton dropped the Magpies to the ninth place in the Premier League, though Chelsea’s shocking loss to Wolves on Sunday allowed NUFC to stay put in that position with Wolves moving up to 10th and Chelsea falling behind their opponents last weekend to the 11th place in the table after 23 games.
The Magpies are currently 11 points behind fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur in the final automatic-berth-place of the table regarding clinching European football next season entering the Europa League group stage without navigating qualification rounds through the summer.
Newcastle will have a full week to regroup and rehab, however, as they won’t play until next Saturday when they will face Nottingham Forest—16th in the EPL standings—on the road a week before hosting Howe’s former club AFC Bournemouth past mid-February.