Newcastle United have been warned that they need to avoid putting pressure on big-money summer signing Sandro Tonali, who still needs time to settle.
The 23-year-old arrived on Tyneside in a £55million deal as one of the more impressive signings of the summer, having firmly established himself as a top performer during his three years at AC Milan.
Tonali was particularly impressive in Milan’s run to the Champions League semi-finals last season before they lost out to rivals Inter.
However, Italian journalist Andrea Locorotondo believes Newcastle’s busy schedule, thanks in part to their Champions League return, has proved to be a hindrance to the Italian.
Tonali certainly made a perfect start to life as a Newcastle player as he scored on his debut in the opening weekend rout of Aston Villa.
But Locorotondo believes it will take time before Tonali is really at his best in a black and white shirt.
“His start to the season has been sufficient. Perhaps scoring on his debut has ‘excited” him a little,’ he said.
“The Newcastle fans created greater expectations on the boy. Tonali is not a goalscorer, we know this, but he is someone who knows how to make the team move.
“In a championship that is new for him, very physical and fast like that of the Premier League, he needs time to settle in and, I repeat, the Magpies’ calendar certainly did not help the talent from Brescia to integrate fully into Howe’s game with the necessary timing.
“When you have to face City, Liverpool and Brighton one after the other you always have to go full speed. So, so far, enough.”
Tonali is expected back in Newcastle action on Sunday when Eddie Howe’s men head to Sheffield United in the Premier League.