JUST IN: Newcastle United Confirm Another Brilliant Player In Replacement Of Super Star Player Ahead Of Crystal Palace

Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe has discussed Sandro Tonali’s potential involvement against Crystal Palace on Saturday amid a ‘difficult period’ for the player.

Tonali was forced to withdraw from the Italy squad following an investigation probe into alleged illegal betting, which Newcastle confirmed in a statement earlier this week. Reports from Sky Italy claim The Magpies’ £52million summer signing could be facing a lengthy ban from football if found guilty.

But the midfielder is still eligible to play for Newcastle while the investigation is ongoing, with Howe confirming the player is under consideration to feature against Palace.

Sandro Tonali needs to stamp his authority on Newcastle after unconvincing start


“He’s very much with us,” Howe said in his pre-match press conference. “He trained twice this week with us and he’s very much available for selection.

“Like I do with all the players, I analyse their training performances, how they feel and Sandro has trained well.

“He’s had a very, very difficult couple of weeks where he’s dealt with a lot. From what I can see, I see him for a few hours a day, he’s handling himself really well and dealing with his emotions incredibly strongly.

“Underneath that, I’m sure there’s a lot going on and I’ll have to make a call but I have to bring it back to football and what he’s delivering on the training pitch and try and make the best decision for the team.”

Howe went on to confirm Newcastle’s priority is to support the 23-year-old during a difficult period for the player and the club.

“It’s absolutely crucial, Sandro’s welfare,” Howe added. “It’s very easy for people to forget how young he is and the changes he’s had in his life coming from Italy to England.


“That’s hard enough to deal with and now he has this situation. As a football club, straight away it was put our arms around him, protect him and give him the love and support he needs to find solutions to the problems he’s had.


“That’s what we’re endeavouring to do with a lot of conversations and a lot of communication with him and his family. It’s not just Sandro, it’s the people around him who are so important as well. It’s been a big effort from us and he’s handled himself superbly well.”

Following the investigation probe, Tonali’s agent Giuseppe Riso claimed his client suffers from a gambling addiction – something Howe and the club only found out about last week.

“I got a phone call from Dan Ashworth [sporting director] during the international break and it was a total surprise to me, to him, to everybody,” Howe continued.

“But these are things that can happen and my immediate thought process was for Sandro and making sure he’s okay so yeah, a difficult period for him.”

When asked when there would be a further update on Tonali’s situation and the investigation, Howe told reporters: “Personally, no I don’t. There are other people dealing with that who may have a better idea but for me, my focus has been on Sandro himself and the training.”

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