Sandro Tonali is settling into life at Newcastle (Picture: Getty Images)
Sandro Tonali says it was a ‘special night’ when he visited a Newcastle Wetherspoons with his family, even if it was not what he was expecting.
The summer signing from AC Milan quickly became a fan favourite in Newcastle thanks to scoring on his debut against Aston Villa and then being spotted in a local Spoons.
The Job Bulman in Gosforth might not be on a par with the Milanese eateries the 23-year-old was used to, but he had a great time, despite being surprised to end up there.
Tonali is back in Italy with his teammates this week as Newcastle begin their Champions League campaign against AC Milan and he was asked about the unexpected trip to Wetherspoons, which had Newcastle fans in the local pub both stunned and thrilled to see their new hero.
‘After the Villa game, I asked about restaurants or bars or clubs and I didn’t receive the answer I was expecting!’ Tonali told a press conference. ‘It was fun too. I spent the night in a pub with my family. It was a special night.’
Despite sending the midfielder to Spoons for his dinner, Tonali has been full of praise of this new teammates and manager, who are helping him to settle into life in the North East and the Premier League.
‘After the first match I felt at ease,’ he said. ‘I was happier thanks to [Eddie] Howe and the whole team. They have really helped me and with my personal life.
‘My team-mates have been amazing, especially with the language. Understanding and communicating with the others. Everything changes after moving to the Premier League.’
Newcastle striker Callum Wilson spoke about the morning after the Spoons trip went viral on the Footballers’ Football podcast, saying: ‘I come into training one day when it happened and we were sitting at breakfast.
‘Everyone was like “did you see the pictures of Sandro in Wetherspoons yesterday?”. I was like, surely not. And they were like “yeah, look”.
Tonali returns to the San Siro on Tuesday having spent three seasons with AC Milan (Picture: Getty Images)
‘So they were all showing us pictures of it round the table at breakfast. Then he come into the canteen and it was one of those awkward moments when you’re talking about someone and they enter the room. It just goes silent.
‘One of the lads goes “Oh Sandro, did you enjoy Wetherspoons last night?” He was like “Yeah, yeah, it was good”, so we just left it at that. Then people were starting to say “did you know there are better restaurants”, but I’m not sure if he’s just Googled a good rated restaurant and that’s come up. I didn’t get to the bottom of it.’
MORE : Newcastle fan stabbed in Milan on eve of Champions League return
MORE : Leeds fan jailed for assaulting Newcastle …read more