In Focus: Gordon coming of age ahead of Dortmund trip
Anthony Gordon is enjoying a superb start to the season at Newcastle.
He initially struggled to make an impact at St James' Park after joining from Everton last January but is now a key figure in Eddie Howe's attack.
Gordon, 22, took his Premier League goal tally for the season to four when he bagged the Magpies' winner against Arsenal last Saturday.
Ahead of Newcastle's latest Champions League test at Borussia Dortmund tonight, we shine the spotlight on the England Under-21s star.
Gordon is starting to deliver in the final third on a consistent basis after flattering to deceive at times with Everton, where he scored just seven goals in 78 appearances across all competitions.
On top of his four league strikes this season, the Liverpool-born winger has tallied two assists.
He also ranks sixth in the English top flight for big chances created (five), while mustering nine shots on target and 15 completed take-ons.
And a key part of Gordon's threat in the final third is his versatility, with the goal against Arsenal coming just minutes after he replaced Callum Wilson as the focal point of the team's attack.
Newcastle boss Howe was well aware of the youngster's ability to lead the line before he joined the club.
He said: "We watched him [Gordon] when recruiting him.
"I had seen him on the left and right for Everton and really liked him in both positions — but I also liked him as a centre forward."
As well as racking up goals and assists, Gordon possesses some of the best defensive numbers among Premier League forwards this term.
His energetic playing style, which is tailor-made for Howe's relentless pressing demands, has seen him make 19 tackles — a total bettered by only Solly March, Jordan Ayew and Bukayo Saka.
Gordon also ranks fourth for possessions won in the defensive third (19) and that work ethic perhaps explains why he has played the most minutes of all Newcastle's forwards this season.
Howe added: "I can't praise him [Gordon] enough.
"After a difficult first few months at the club, where he was keen to show his qualities, he was patient and learned how we play and now he is reaping the rewards."
Gordon's superb form this season will no doubt have already piqued the interest of Gareth Southgate ahead of next summer's European Championship.
The Magpies ace has yet to make his senior England bow but has enjoyed huge success with the U-21s.
Gordon has 16 caps for the Young Lions after debuting in 2021, scoring six goals and helping Lee Carsley's side win this year's Euros in Georgia and Romania.
He was also named UEFA's Player of the Tournament and Howe has suggested a call from Southgate may not be too far away.
The Toon boss said last month: "I'm sure Gareth is aware of him and I'm sure he's been aware of him for a long time."
A match-winning display in Dortmund this evening may even tempt Southgate to name the Newcastle ace in his latest squad on Thursday.