Newcastle midfielder Sandro Tonali experienced a taste of British culture after reserving a table at a local Wetherspoons – and fans have a theory behind his somewhat unexpected visit.
The 23-year-old Italian made his Premier League debut on Saturday afternoon, where he impressed in a convincing 5-1 win against top-six hopefuls Aston Villa.
Tonali, who joined Eddie Howe’s side from AC Milan in July for a reported £55 million, gave the Magpies an early lead after volleying home Anthony Gordon’s cross.
He went on to dominate in midfield areas. In fact, Newcastle legend Alan Shearer called Tonali “the star of the show” following an impressive debut at St James’ Park.
“As debuts go, this is as good as it gets,” Shearer said. “It was the perfect midfield performance. Goals, assists, tackles, great range of passing, late runs into the box, and his timing was perfect in almost everything, getting stuck in.”
He added: “And how to endear yourself to the Geordie public with a performance like this…”
In addition to his performance against Villa, Tonali would endear himself to the Geordie fans further by reserving a table at The Job Bulman pub in Gosforth.
The Italian would later pose for pictures at his local Wetherspoons, with one fan even posting a picture of his 19:45 reservation on Twitter.
Did some of his Newcastle teammates recommend Spoons as a must-visit? Well, plenty of people on social media think so.
One fan said: “This very much feels like Sandro Tonali has asked his teammates for restaurant recommendations and they’ve told him that Spoons is the height of sophistication.”
A second commented: “What’s his table number? I’ll order him a drink through the app. Moretti?” while a third said: “Teammates have definitely mugged him off here telling him it’s the place to be.”
A four wrote: “Someone’s had him on here. I reckon Jacob Murphy has told him Wetherspoons is the most elegant restaurant in the UK.”
A fifth added: “I’m losing my head. Someone must have told him that Wetherspoons was a fancy spot to take his better half and he must have believed it. This is incredible.”
After the full-time on Saturday, former Spurs and Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp was full of praise for Tonali.
“Sandro Tonali is a lovely player to watch. He’s so elegant and the game is effortless for him,” he told Sky Sports. “Coming to the Premier League as a midfielder, it’s fast and furious, but he adapted so well to everything.
“It was one of the most impressive debuts from a midfielder I’ve seen in this league.”