Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer has suggested that the Magpies’ handling of Joelinton since his arrival at St James’ Park has not helped the forward adapt to life in the Premier League.
Joelinton arrived at St James’ Park from Hoffenheim in the summer of 2019 for a club-record £40 million, but the Brazilian struggled to get to grips with life in the Premier League during his first full campaign in English football last season.
Handing Joelinton number nine shirt a big mistake
Upon his arrival at Newcastle, Joelinton was handed the club’s iconic number nine shirt, with the Magpies hoping he could establish himself as a reliable goal scorer. However, the 24-year-old struggled to make any impact playing up front on his own last term, managing to register just two league goals and also missing eight big chances, as per Sofascore.
Steve Bruce opted to strengthen his attacking options in the summer with the £20 million arrival of Callum Wilson from Bournemouth. The 28-year-old has proven an immediate success for the Magpies registering four goals in his opening four matches.
Speaking to The Athletic, Shearer suggested that Newcastle placed unnecessary pressure on Joelinton’s shoulders by both the transfer fee they paid for him, and by giving him the number nine shirt. While he also believes Wilson’s arrival could help the Brazilian find some form in a more natural role.
He said: “I feel sorry for Joelinton, though, because he has been royally shafted. None of it is his fault. He was asked to wear the No 9 shirt, but he’s not a No 9 and he’s not a natural goal scorer which, if you wear the No 9 shirt for Newcastle, you have to be.
“And the fee for him was obviously too much. None of that is his fault. Having said that, he looked a lot better against Burnley in that role as a No 10. It was one of his best games for the club.”
Joelinton showing signs of improvement following Wilson arrival
Shearer knows all about what it takes to thrive as the Magpies’ number nine, and Wilson has already bettered the tally Joelinton reached in that position in the whole of last season. The 28-year-old has also averaged 2.3 shots per game (Sofascore), compared with the one-shot per game the Brazilian managed last term, per Sofascore.
Joelinton was used as more of a creative forward than a goal scorer at Hoffenheim, and there were signs against Burnley that he could be much more effective in a number ten role. In their win against the Clarets, he averaged an 84% passing accuracy and produced one key pass (Sofascore). That shows if used properly he could yet revive his career on Tyneside.
Geordies, can Joelinton come good for the Magpies this season? Let us know your thoughts below!
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