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Opinion

First sightings – Joelinton and Salomon Rondon comparison

1 month ago
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Sunday saw the Magpies kick off the new season with an uninspiring display against Arsenal, losing the game 1-0.

Three of Newcastle’s five summer signings made their debuts at St James Park over the weekend with the new record signing, Joelinton, playing the full 90 minutes.

Joelinton signed last month for £40million, doubling the previous record fee, and impressed in pre-season bagging two goals in three games.

Last season for Hoffenheim, the Brazilian striker managed to score seven goals in the Bundesliga which put a question mark over the signing for a lot of fans due to Newcastle’s need of a proven goalscorer following the departures of Ayoze Perez and Rondon.

Some fans were disappointed with Joelinton’s performance and expressed doubt as to whether he is the signing(s) that was needed, just how does the new signing’s first start compare to Rondon’s 12 months earlier?

Rondon made his debut in a 2-1 home loss to Chelsea (26 August 2018) compared to Joelinton’s 1-0 home loss to Arsenal. Rondon was subbed off in the 62nd minute on his debut for Joselu, who went on to score Newcastle’s only goal of the game, while Joelinton played the full 90 minutes.

Joelinton managed three shots while Rondon only managed one, as well as the Brazilian managing one tackle and two successful dribbles, with Rondon managing zero dribbles and tackles.

Joelinton was also superior in the air winning eight aerial duels, while Rondon just won the one.

Rondon was more accurate with his passes managing a 91% success rate compared to Joelinton’s 81% – the Brazilian completing 29 out of 36 passes with Rondon completing 10 out of 11.

WhoScored rated Rondon’s overall performance as a 6.1 in that Chelsea game, while Joelinton managed an impressive 7.1.

One thing to note is that Rondon did have much less of the ball due to Newcastle’s team possession being just 19%, compared to the 38% managed against Arsenal on Sunday, but statistically speaking, Joelinton has had a much better start than Rondon had.

I think due to the current atmosphere amongst fans (which following Rafa’s debut column with The Athletic highlighting the lies of the senior leaders it’s no wonder), Joelinton was always going to be slated if he didn’t score, but those fans need to remember that Rondon had a slow start and be confident that the goals will come.

Hopefully, Joelinton can go on to score 11 or more just like the previous number nine who was adored by fans.

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