Despite not scoring more than 8 in a season Joelinton insists he is the Newcastle United Number 9
Whilst Newcastle fans all hope Joelinton proves a big success at St James Park, they have been bemused as to how a price of £40m could be arrived at when he has such an underwhelming goalscoring record.
His best season so far was when scoring 8 in 33 league appearances in 2017/18 but that was in the weak Austrian league for Rapid Vienna.
The next season he was there on loan again from Hoffenheim and scored 7 in 27 league appearances.
Last season Joelinton at last got his chance in the Bundesliga and scored 7 goals in 28 league appearances.
Making it 22 goals in 88 league appearances these past three years, exactly one every four games. Not exactly a £40m price tag on the surface, especially with the majority of the goals at such a low level.
There has been some debate about whether he is actually a centre-forward, as whilst he played as the central striker in Austria, Joelinton played on the right of a three for Hoffenheim.
It would have been easy for Joelinton to defend his relatively low goals totals by relieving some pressure and saying he is more of a support/second striker but to his credit, the Brazilian has made it clear what his position is when declaring on Wednesday when asked about it: ‘I have always been a 9. It is tremendous trust and faith to give me the legendary number 9 shirt, I am really happy about this.’
Of course we all hope he has his best years ahead of him and set to turn 23 three days after what will surely be his debut against Arsenal, he has time on his side.
However, it is massive pressure to put on somebody so young, especially if Mike Ashley doesn’t allow further significant investment in the attacking positions.
Last season Perez and Rondon scored 23 of Newcastle’s 42 Premier League goals and the top goalscorers who remain from last season are Schar (four), Clark (three) and Ritchie (two), the only remaining players to get more than one PL goal last season.
In Germany, Joelinton was forced to play wide right as Andrej Kramaric is the main man.
The 28 year old Croatian international has scored 50 goals in 90 Bundesliga starts (plus 23 sub appearances), including scoring 17 goals in 28 league starts last season.
No doubt a decent number of Newcastle fans will be wondering if this should have been maybe the kind of new number nine targeted, somebody with a more proven goal record.
However, Mike Ashley is clearly insistent on going down this route of young signings with future high resale potential, meaning so much pressure will instantly be on Joelinton.
This approach led to Newcastle’s relegation in 2015/16 when a 20 year old Aleksandar Mitrovic was signed to carry the main responsibility for goals and managed only nine as the club were relegated.
The clock is ticking with only two weeks remaining to add more goals to this NUFC squad.
Joelinton also revealed that Hoffenheim had rejected a bid by Newcastle to buy him in January, a fact which makes it all the more ridiculous for Steve Bruce to claim he had any say in this transfer (or indeed any other future ones).
“I have always been a nine.
“It is tremendous trust and faith to give me the legendary number nine shirt, I am really happy about this.
“It is a really big club with a huge tradition and I have watched the Premier League since I was little – I really hope to make progress here.
“There was also bid in January (from Newcastle) but the club rejected it.
“I am the type of player that brings a lot of fight and emotion on the pitch, I do a lot of running and hold the ball up well.
“I feel good and ready and I am aware of the faith and trust people have put in me.
“I appreciate how high the expectations are.
“Germany is a strong league but I hope to succeed here now (in the Premier League).”
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