Former England international Peter Crouch has lavished Newcastle United striker Joelinton with praise after the Brazilian impressed against Tottenham Hotspur, as told to BBC programme Match of the Day 2.
Joelinton joined the Magpies for a club-record £40million (BBC) in July, as he became the St James’ Park natives’ first signing of the Steve Bruce era.
The summer arrival from TSG Hoffenheim has big shoes to fill on Tyneside, though, as the North East outfit allowed Salomon Rondon to return to parent side West Bromwich Albion at the end of last season, despite being named as the club’s Player of the Year after striking twelve goals in 33 games across all competitions.
Rondon also offered the Magpies an astute hold-up player that allowed former club-record signing Miguel Almiron and now-Leicester City ace Ayoze Perez to flourish, as they were able to push on and join the attack with devastating effect.
Concerns that the Venezuelans’ departure could lead to a negative turn of results could now be calmed, however, as Crouch identified Joelinton’s ability to hold off the opponent as a reason why he enjoyed the striker’s display when assessing Newcastle’s triumph at Tottenham.
“I really enjoyed his performance today, I have to say,” Crouch said. “I know he had a tough time last week [against Norwich], but this week, I thought he showed a lot of character, he was big, he was strong.
“It wasn’t just his goal, although his first touch was exquisite and took Danny Rose out of the game, but not just that, it was his all-round game.
“His hold-up play and strength, he moved it and he was looking for the ball, and when you have got the pace of Almiron, you need to bring him into play. And this at the end, his defence would have absolutely loved, you can’t put a value on this in the last minute after working so hard to get the result. He is battling three or four men.
“He is much more than a lump. He has got good technique, and he can play. He is not the finished article, but I feel Steve Bruce has got a player he can mould him into the player they want him to be.”
Altogether against Spurs on Sunday, Joelinton fashioned two efforts on goal with both being on target, along with two key passes amid 25 balls to teammates in Black and White, according to data collected by WhoScored.
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