It’s fair to say that the atmosphere isn’t exactly the most positive on Tyneside right now after Rafa Benitez’s departure from Newcastle United was confirmed. Indeed, sections of the Toon support are seemingly preparing to boycott next season’s opening fixture at home Arsenal in an attempt to put pressure on the Mike Ashley regime as a result.
Welcome to @ArsenalBoycott
we believe our aim as Newcastle fans should be to do everything we can to get Mike Ashley out of this football club. This is why we are introducing the #BoycottArsenal campaign.
We hope to gain backing from a large amount of Newcastle United fans.
— Boycott Arsenal (@ArsenalBoycott) June 25, 2019
While the idea of Ashley getting fans completely back onside seems far too far-fetched after a 12-year regime that has attracted controversy along the way, perhaps there are at least some moves he and his staff can make in the coming weeks to restore some kind of optimism to the club.
Not only does he need a top-level manager to replace the popular Benitez but, clearly, he needs some top-class players to help the Magpies compete higher up as well. Cult-hero Shola Ameobi, who recently returned to the club as a loan-coordinator, spoke of the club’s need for investment on Sky Sports back in November and Miguel Delaney of the Independent described Benitez’s time in charge as representing ‘the greatest disparity between the quality of the squad and the quality of the manager’ so it’s not hard to see that further additions are a requirement.
With that in mind, according to the Mirror, the Magpies are apparently interested in Hoffenheim’s Joelinton as a potential option next season.
Described as a ‘£30m+’ target, someone like the Brazilian would be a statement signing and one who could have a positive effect on the club. When you consider how he netted 11 goals and 6 assists in all competitions last season (stats via WhoScored), it’s easy to see why the club are thought to be keen.
Bundesliga.com quoted Julian Nagelsmann for lauding the 6’3’ striker as “a beast who’s a nightmare to defend against”, going some way to showing just how menacing he can be. For a striker who wants to be the next Robert Lewandowski (via the same outlet), Joelinton could even be seen as a younger replacement for Salomon Rondon.
Ashley has previously been reported by the Daily Star to be against the idea of turning Rondon’s loan into a permanent move due to concerns over his wage demands and age, despite the fact he scored 11 goals and laid on a further seven assists for the black and white cause last season. Well, with a similar record in Germany last season, the former Brazil U17 ace could help fill the gap created by his departure.
In fact, when using the Squawka comparison matrix and looking at how the 22-year-old triumphs over the Venezuelan in creating more chances (33 to 27) or even shooting accuracy (23% to 21%), perhaps he could be a more exciting long-term addition, given the 7-year age gap between the two.
With the potential to bring goals to the Magpies, who only scored 42 last season, the Brazilian can perhaps bring smiles back to St. James’ Park.
Newcastle fans, do you think Joelinton can be a potential upgrade over Rondon? Join the discussion by commenting below…
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