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Opinion

Is Joselu the man to bring goals to Newcastle – What his career so far tells you

1 year ago
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Joselu was the only Newcastle United signing in the final 34 days of the summer transfer window.

Rafa Benitez had made clear he wanted a new first choice centre-forward but with Mike Ashley refusing to back him, he was forced to go for a more bargain basement signing that brought Joselu to St James Park for £5m.

Newcastle fans were generally underwhelmed with the signing but after seeing him in the flesh,, fair to say supporters have been impressed with his workrate and all round game, but is he someone who can deliver goals?

Scoring on his first start against West Ham, then only denied by a world class save from his header at Swansea, Joselu looked as though he was in the mood for adding the goals to his overall game, only to then have a bit of a horror show against Stoke, failing to convert and of three golden chances.

It is far too small a sample of matches to judge him on but what does Joselu’s past tell us about him?

Well, at the age of 27 he isn’t a kid and this is his sixth season of playing in the top division of a major league (Spain, Germany, England).

2012/13 – 25 league appearances (17 starts 8 as a sub) and 5 goals and 2 assists for Hoffenheim

2013/14 – 24 league appearances (18 starts 6 as a sub) and 9 goals and 2 assists for Eintracht Frankfurt

2014/15 – 30 league appearances (28 starts 2 as a sub) and 8 goals and 3 assists for Hannover

2015/16 – 22 league appearances (10 starts 12 as a sub) and 4 goals and 1 assist for Stoke

2016/17 – 20 league appearances (9 starts 11 as a sub) and 5 goals and 1 assist for Deportivo

2017/18 –  4 league appearances (3 starts 1 as a sub) and 1 goal and 0 assists for Newcastle United

So overall in these past six seasons of top flight football, Joselu has scored 32 league goals in 125 appearances (85 starts, 40 off the bench) and got 9 assists.

A few things strike you, the main negative being that the Spanish striker has never scored double figures in any league season (Spanish Shola..?).

In mitigation though, he has rarely been given the chance at any club to be an automatic first choice, apart from maybe at Hannover.

The other stand out thing is that this season is his sixth season in a row at a different club – six clubs in six years is hardly a recipe for success and building a rapport/relationship with teammates.

It isn’t a case of writing Joselu off but you have to think it is going to take a major improvement in front of goal, if the Spaniard is going to be a 15 goals a season forward for Newcastle.

You have to go back to his time at Real Madrid for impressive goalscoring statistics, Joselu scoring 41 goals in 73 appearances (53 starts and 20 from bench), although all but one of those goals and appearances was for the Real Madrid reserve side, who at the time were playing in the third tier of Spanish football – getting promoted to the second tier as champions in Joselu’s second and final season at the club.

As for the situation now at Newcastle, I think Joselu can play his part and be a decent player and score a few goals as well as being pretty dominant in the air and some good link-up play BUT I think we may well need Dwight Gayle (or Mitrovic if you think Rafa will give him a chance) to step up and show he can be a regular goalscorer in the top tier, or failing that look for an out and out goalscorer to be signed in January…
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