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Opinion

Joelinton is missing and Steve Bruce fails to address the question

4 weeks ago
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Where is Joelinton?

A quite bizarre month since the 2019/20 season ended and now we have another very strange episode.

Newcastle United’s record £40m signing has disappeared and nobody is talking about it.

As the last campaign was coming to a close, Joelinton gave an interview (see below) and declared ‘there will definitely be improvements next season’…

I didn’t realise our Brazilian record signing meant he would achieve this by disappearing.

As was pointed out yesterday on The Mag, Joelinton hasn’t been seen in the many images released by the club from the training camp near York for the entire week.

On Tuesday afternoon Newcastle played their first friendly, at the training camp venue against Crewe.

Steve Bruce played a totally different team in each half, 22 players, none of them were Joelinton.

Summing up the crazy pre-season ‘preparations’ at Newcastle, 18 minutes into the second half, Dwight Gayle was forced off with an injury and Bruce had no striker available to go on, so was forced to send midfielder Dan Barlaser (who had played in the first half) back on to replace the Newcastle striker. Clearly still too risky playing Andy Carroll for more than 45 minutes.

Things got even stranger post-match.

Steve Bruce gave an interview after the friendly to the club’s own NUFC TV and absolutely no mention of Joelinton was made, nothing as to why he was missing and not even acknowledging that he didn’t even have a striker on the pitch for the final 27 minutes of the friendly. Yoshinori Muto is also missing, not seen during the past week in the photo galleries from the pre-season training camp, nor at the game yesterday. The NUFC Head Coach not mentioning at all why the Japanese striker is missing as well.

Remember, we are now only 17 days away from the Premier League season kicking off!

Very strange as well that none of Steve Bruce’s many mates in the NUFC media are asking the question either, about where Joelinton is.

Spending £40m+ on Joelinton was a Mike Ashley disaster up there with his very best and you would think that surely it would be the very top priority for Steve Bruce and the club, to try and ensure the Brazilian is in the best possible place to be hitting the ground running when the season kicks off. Missing from pre-season with 17 days to go, is a plan that only Ashley, Bruce and Charnley could have came up with,

Checking the government list of countries where if you are returning from you have to self-isolate, Brazil is on the list, so potentially that could be a reason for Joelinton to be missing.

If that is the case then the club should be telling us. However, it would be rank amateur behaviour if that was the case, not ensuring the record signing was back in the UK in a timely fashion.

With absolutely no sign of credible signings being made in this transfer window, we desperately need Joelinton to justify at least some of his £40m price tag this coming season.

Finding out where he is would be a start.

Joelinton speaking to Premier League Productions in July, just before the end of last (2019/20) season:

“The Premier League is the best competition in the world.

“It is where the best players play.

“You have the best teams and the best managers, so it was definitely a challenge coming into the Premier League, which is so competitive and every game is so disputed.

“I knew it would be difficult when I came here and I’m happy for the experience, the possibility to settle in and adapt, there will definitely be improvements next season.

“That’s what I hope for and that is what I’m working hard towards and I’m very happy.

“I knew it wouldn’t be easy [moving to another club and country] but that has always been the case in my career and I have always worked hard to do well.

“All season he [Steve Bruce] has demanded this of me [getting in the box], demanded that I needed to be a bit greedier, more selfish.

“I have always got the desire to score goals, to finish, it is not just Steve Bruce that is demanding this of me, other coaches have previously.

“However, if I see a team-mate in a better position, I will always look to pass to them, but if I get the chance, I will look to score.

“It’s what the fans want, it is what the coaches want, a first touch finish, the goal against Sheffield United was very characteristic of what we have been doing in training.

“You know, for me to be in the [18 yard] area.

“They want me to be there available in the area and finish with one touch.

“I think that really represents what we are doing in training and we are very happy with everything. “

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