Former England international Darren Bent has lauded the display of Newcastle United striker Joelinton after he opened his Magpies account in the Toon’s victory over Tottenham Hotspur, as told to Football Insider.
Joelinton struggled to make an impact in the Premier League against Arsenal or Norwich City following his club-record £40million (BBC) transfer from TSG Hoffenheim this summer, but broke the goal line in North London to secure Newcastle’s first points of the season against Spurs.
The Magpies played much of the game with their backs toward their own goal, as Tottenham boasted 80.2% of possession last Sunday, according to data collected by WhoScored, and penned the visitors inside and around their own penalty box for much of the game.
Tottenham’s dominance ensured Joelinton was starved of chances to add to his account, with the Brazilian only able to record one further shot following his 27th-minute opener, when he collected Christian Atsu’s chipped pass on the edge of the box before powerfully driving the ball into the bottom corner of Hugo Lloris’ net.
But Bent feels Joelinton did everything he had to in order to lead the line against Mauricio Pochettino’s side, and Newcastle’s overall performance will make other teams give them a lot more credit.
“It was tough for him at times, but he did what he needed to do,” the former Sunderland striker noted. “When you play that role, that’s what you need to do. There might be long periods you’ll be out of the game and you’ve got to stay patient.
“Given the way they played, that will make other teams realise they can play and that they’re a force to be reckoned with. That might free him up against other teams.
“They’re not going to have to play this way every single week because they’re not going to play Spurs every single week. There are going to be games where they’re going to have to take the game to the other team.”
Newcastle will have to hope that Joelinton striking his maiden goal against Tottenham gives the 23-year-old a confidence boost, as the Brazilian struggled against Norwich City when the space was there for him to operate in.
Before his enforced substitution in the 67th minute at Carrow Road, Joelinton missed a glaring chance to break the goal line with the score still level, with his header sailing wide.
He missed the target with his only other shot recorded by WhoScored, too, and lost seven of his nine aerial duels against the Canaries, while being dispossessed five times – three times more than in North London.
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