Sandro Tonali provided emotional update about Newcastle change now official

Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali has worn two shirt numbers during the club’s pre-season preparations.

The 23-year-old played his first game with the number 20 on his back, but that changed when Newcastle headed to America.

For the first game of the Premier League Summer Series against Aston Villa, Tonali donned the number eight that belonged to Anthony Gordon. Meanwhile, the winger wore 10 – which was Allan Saint-Maximin’s jersey before he was sold to Al Ahli.

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – JULY 23: Bruno Guimarães #39 of Newcastle United shakes hands with Sandro Tonali #8 prior to a Premier League Summer Series match between Aston Villa and Newcastle United at Lincoln Financial Field on July 23, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Tonali and Gordon wore eight and 10 on their backs respectively from that point, but the club did stress that these numbers were not official. While it did feel like a very strong indication that a change was happening, nothing was confirmed.

The kit numbers are still yet to be confirmed for the new season, but a major hint landed on social media on Wednesday during Newcastle’s media day.

Aston Villa v Newcastle United: Premier League Summer Series
Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Newcastle media day hints at Sandro Tonali wearing number eight

Eddie Howe and his players were on media duty on Wednesday as the new Premier League season looms.

Journalist Andy Sixsmith was at the club’s training ground, and shared details on Twitter of a chat he had with Tonali ahead of his first season in English football. The pair spoke about the midfielder learning English and how he is settling into life on Tyneside.

The tweet from Sixsmith also included a picture of Tonali, where his number can be seen on his shorts. He has the number eight on his kit, which is a fresh indicator that he really is taking Gordon’s shirt for the 2023/24 campaign.View Tweet

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Rangers v Newcastle United - Pre-Season Friendly
Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

That is good news, as eight suits Tonali better than 20. As for Gordon, it looks like he has the responsibility of being Newcastle’s number 10. That is normally reserved for a team’s most creative player, which Gordon will hope to be for the Magpies this season.

Confirmation of the squad numbers is still to come, but this does hint that the changes we saw during pre-season are going to be official.