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Opinion

Newcastle United haven’t bought a dud but have they bought a goalscorer?

1 year ago
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Joelinton was a surprise signing in a number of ways.

The fact that he cost a reported £40m was obviously the big news.

Whilst we also still have not a clue or any explanation as to why Mike Ashley decided the Brazilian was the player that Newcastle suddenly had to pay so much money for, the NUFC owner speaking as though anybody would have to be mad not to take him at that price.

Especially when this was four times as much as Ashley had let Rafa Benitez spend on any player since promotion, apart from the £21m paid for Miguel Almiron on 31 January 2019.

The backdrop to the Joelinton story is that Newcastle had lost their two top goalscorers as well as their manager.

Joelinton seemingly also playing a key part in Rafa’s departure. Mike Ashley refusing to let him buy Salomon Rondon and insisting Joelinton had to be bought, only for Rafa to insist that the then Hoffenheim striker was worth no more than £20m at the very most. Mike Ashley claiming that the fee was actually £43m and alleging that to get the deal through, he’d told Rafa that he (Ashley) would pay £23m of the fee from his personal money.

All very difficult to believe…

Mike Ashley going from refusing to even let Rafa Benitez buy players with the club’s money, indeed insisting on a £20m+ profit in summer 2018 on transfers, to then paying for signings out of his own pocket.

Not many people would believe that one, off the top of my head I can only think of Dennis Wise, Simon Jordan, Shola Ameobi and Richard Keys.

So Joelinton was the big player brought in to score the majority of the goals to replace Rondon and Perez’ contribution, the pair of them having scored 61% of the Premier League goals (25 of 41 – one of the 42 was an own goal) scored by Newcastle players last season

What convinced Mike Ashley and friends that Joelinton was the perfect goalscoring target?

This is his league record since arriving in Europe:

2015/16 (Hoffenheim) 1 league appearance and 0 goals

2015/16 (Rapid Vienna) 33 league appearance and 8 goals

2015/16 (Rapid Vienna) 27 league appearance and 7 goals

2015/16 (Hoffenheim) 28 league appearances and 7 goals

2015/16 (Newcastle) 6 league appearances and 1 goal

In total 95 league appearances and 23 goals in European league football.

It is quite baffling as to how this adds up to £40m of anybody’s money.

After watching him these two months, I would say that in Joelinton, Newcastle United haven’t bought a dud but doubt very much they have bought a goalscorer.

He averages less than a goal in each four league appearances, equating to around nine on average in a 38 game Premier League season but most of these goals so far were scored in the very weak Austrian league.

The reality for me is that last season Newcastle had two strikers capable of scoring double figures in the Premier League and now we have none.

It says everything that all of the journalists were blinded by the £40m price tag and instead it was fans questioning why so much money for somebody who has achieved so little.

The newspapers/journalists arrogantly dismissing concerns with ‘Newcastle fans will never be happy, moaning even when Ashley buys them a £40m striker.’

If Joelinton had cost £15m or less then it would have meant a zero (or worse) net NUFC transfer spend and the journalists would have been all over it, another disastrous Mike Ashley transfer window. Yet that £40m price tag changed the whole media narrative. No wonder so many Newcastle fans cast doubt on whether NUFC had really paid £40m for the striker.

I think Joelinton looks a decent player who will get some goals BUT not enough to see him carrying all our hopes.

He certainly doesn’t look anything  like a player who should have cost so much money.

To prove to be worth anything like that for Newcastle, I think it all depends on how many goals he can help the rest of the Newcastle team score. Which then becomes a bit of a red light when you consider how few natural goalscorers NUFC have in their squad.

Not helped when instead of buying a second goalscorer, Mike Ashley instead insisted on bringing Andy Carroll in as a gimmick/PR exercise, somebody who will make brief sub appearances at best.

Our midfielders and wingers/wing-backs very rarely score, Almiron yet to score in England, Atsu has scored three goals in 65 Premier League appearances, whilst Allan Saint-Maximin has 13 goals in 130 top league appearances in Germany, France and England.

Joelinton has an awful lot of pressure on him, so here’s hoping Steve Bruce can finally get his tactics right to give him the best chance of scoring and creating for others.

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