Former England international Danny Mills has suggested Joelinton needs to find the right balance between being relaxed in attack and showing his striker’s instincts if he is to achieve success at St. James’ Park.
His only successful effort proved pivotal, as Newcastle achieved their only win of the Premier League season so far as a result of his strike away to Tottenham Hotspur in August, but the Brazilian has found chances hard to come by since.
Having fashioned three efforts on Arsenal’s goal in the curtain-raiser defeat at St. James’ Park, Joelinton has only managed two shots at most in a league game and was resigned to a single strike at Liverpool on Saturday.
The Brazilian’s heat maps from his five English top-flight encounters show part of the reason why the 23-year-old has been unable to find the net more often, as his touches have been spread across the field, and most have occurred in the middle third of the pitch.
Joelinton has also been tasked with being the hold-up man in Steve Bruce’s plans, which has restricted his chances to strike, and Mills feels the Alianca-born forward needs to find the right balance in order to display his striker’s instincts.
“Physically, he’s got all the attributes in terms of physicality and all those type of things,” the former England right-back told Football Insider. “He’s just got to make sure he’s getting into the right positions and has a cool head under pressure to take those chances.
“He’s not going to be afforded as many chances as Sergio Aguero, as Raheem Sterling, as Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, as Harry Kane. Sometimes it’s even harder for those centre-forwards, because the chances are fewer and further between.
“He needs to get that balance of being relaxed and when he gets that opportunity, put the ball in the back of the net.”
While Mills is right in suggesting the likes of Kane, Mane and Sterling are able to fashion more efforts on goal than Joelinton, Salah has proven that it is not about the number of chances but the quality of the shot, as the Egyptian has only taken more than three shots in a game once this season, but has four goals to his name (WhoScored).
Joelinton would also have opened his account earlier than he managed had he not squandered chances away to Norwich City, with the Brazilian firing a header wide of the post in the 26th minute when unmarked at the back post.
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