Newcastle United Need to Be Patient With Joelinton

Joelinton
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Joelinton put in another poor performance in Newcastle United’s 4-0 loss to Arsenal on Sunday. He failed to score again and is without a Premier League goal in 22 consecutive games.

The 23-year-old forward caused no problems for the Gunners and only managed three touches in their penalty area. Allan Saint-Maximin was piling in crosses and cut-backs but Joelinton was nowhere near these opportunities.

The Brazilian forward arrived at Newcastle from German side Hoffenheim last summer for a club-record fee of £40 million. He is struggling at St Jame’s Park this season and his only goals recently came against Rochdale and Oxford United in the FA Cup.

Steve Bruce must keep providing the 23-year-old with opportunities at Newcastle, though. The Magpies boss is pleased with the striker’s work rate for the team this season. Bruce started Joelinton in 27 matches this season, proving he has faith in him.

Newcastle United Need to Be Patient With Joelinton

Winger or Number Nine?

Out of his 27 starting appearances this campaign, Joelinton played 25 of these as an out-and-out striker.

At Hoffenheim last season, he was much more versatile, operating on either wing and occasionally as a number nine. He scored 11 goals in 35 matches last season from a number of playing positions.

He also had a reputation in Germany for his excellent dribbling skills and completed an average of four per game at the German club. At Newcastle, he only attempts two dribbles per game and is used more as a physical presence to hold up the ball and bring others into the game.

Given his history, it seems unusual to persist in playing Joelinton in the lone striker role. He was signed as a replacement for Salomon Rondon last year and Bruce is trying to mould him into a similar player.

No Fit Strikers

There is little competition for Joelinton up front this season. Andy Carroll, Dwight Gayle, and Yoshinori Muto are the other recognised strikers at the club but they have only made eight starts between them.

Injuries are preventing any competition for the lone striker place in Bruce’s preferred 5-4-1 formation recently. This may suggest why Joelinton is playing in a more unnatural position up front as a necessity rather than a choice.

With Muto and Gayle possibly returning for this weekend’s fixture against Crystal Palace, it may present a chance for Joelinton to play as a wide midfielder.

Contract Length

Newcastle signed Joelinton on a six-year contract when he joined in July. The implications of this are that the Magpies will not be able to offload Joeinton easily if they wanted to.

Therefore, Bruce needs to find a way to fit the Brazilian into his team. He has shown potential at Hoffenheim and Newcastle obviously regard him as a bright prospect due to the length of his deal. At 23, he should be allowed more time to prove himself.

 

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