Anthony Gordon is the man of the moment at Newcastle United right now.
Following his man-of-the-match performance against Sheffield United on Sunday evening, Newcastle United star Anthony Gordon has revealed he has never felt fitter.
By his own admission, the winger struggled to get up to speed at St James’ Park in the months after his £45million January move from Premier League rivals Everton.
Fitness was an issue but following a summer spent winning the under-21s European Championship with England, Gordon returned to Tyneside a player transformed and benefitted from a full pre-season under Eddie Howe.
In his opening six Premier League games so far, the 22-year-old has scored twice and provided the same number of assists.
“I’m in the best place physically I’ve been in my whole career,” Gordon revealed. “I feel really quick and sharp and that’s showing in my play. I feel I’m able to do a lot of combination play around the box and recover if we lose the ball. I feel great.”
Having started back-to-back games against Brentford and AC Milan three days apart last week, the plan was to rest Gordon for yesterday’s visit to Bramall Lane. However, a toe injury for Harvey Barnes in the 11th minute forced Howe’s hand.
“I was a bit disappointed [at not starting],” Gordon admitted. “I want to start every game. I feel like I’m playing well so I didn’t want to come out but ultimately we’ve got a really difficult season coming up which will involve large squad rotation I’d imagine.
“It’s a team game and when I came on it was just about playing my part. There was no sulking on my part, I just wanted to impact the game as much as I could for the team.”
It took Gordon less than 10 minutes to make an impact as he set up Sean Longstaff’s opener. It arrived with a hint of controversy as the ball hit Gordon’s hand in the build-up but following a VAR check, the goal stood.
“I just remember on the touchline I thought the ball was going to go out but I managed to keep it in,” he said. “When you get into them moments it’s just about instinct so I pulled it back. Great finish from Longy.”
Asked if he handled the ball, Gordon replied: “Maybe but it doesn’t matter, it’s gone now!”
Not long after, however, Gordon was denied a penalty, despite the replays showing Blades defender Jayden Bogle had clearly taken the player down.
“It’s a clear pen, isn’t it? I did him with the faint and I was going on to shoot and he took me down,” Gordon added. “I feel like because he gave me the last one maybe… but I thought the ref had a good game so I’m not going to complain.”
Newcastle were 4-0 up through Longstaff, Dan Burn, Sven Botman and Callum Wilson before Gordon scored arguably the goal of the evening.
“I’ve been working on cutting in for weeks with JT (Jason Tindall),” Gordon told NUFCTV. “Normally when I cut in I’m trying to aim for the top corner and get the perfect goal with loads of power so we’ve been working on taking the power off it and finessing it in.
“Practice makes perfect.”
Further goals from Miguel Almiron, Bruno Guimaraes and Alexander Isak wrapped up an 8-0 victory for the Magpies – their largest-ever away victory.