'I was lost' - Sandro Tonali admits to 'difficult' start at Newcastle after £60m transfer from AC Milan as he prepares for Champions League return to San Siro

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Sandro Tonali Newcastle United 2023-24
Sandro Tonali has opened up on his "difficult" start at Newcastle ahead of the club's Champions League opener against his former club AC Milan.
  • Tonali had a difficult start to Newcastle journey
  • Joined the Magpies from AC Milan in the summer
  • Scored on his debut for his new club

WHAT HAPPENED? Despite scoring on his debut for the Magpies after a club record £60 million ($75m) move from Milan, Tonali admits he had difficulties settling into a new environment and that he felt "lost". The Italian midfielder has thanked his team-mates and manager Eddie Howe for helping him adjust to English conditions after his two year spell in Serie A with Milan.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to reporters ahead of facing his former club in Newcastle' first Champions League group stage match of 2023-24, Tonali said: "This summer has been hard and I’ve had a difficult start. In the beginning, it was not easy to find my place in Newcastle but people have supported me and still helping me now. Since the first match, I felt at ease. I was happier thanks to the help of Mr Howe and the whole staff.

"They really helped me out in my personal and professional life. My teammates have been amazing, especially with the language! That was very difficult for me."

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He added: "On the pitch, everything changes when you switch from the Italian championship to the Premier League. In the beginning, I was kind of lost and I received so much help from everybody in every aspect, language, sport and tactics."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Newcastle returned to the Champions League after an absence of 20 years after finishing fourth in the Premier League last season. They have been drawn in a difficult group alongside AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund.


Sandro Tonali Milan 2022-23

Eddie Howe Newcastle 2023-24

WHAT NEXT? Tonali will be in action for Howe's side against his former club AC Milan at San Siro on Tuesday.