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Steve Bruce (inadvertently) explains why Newcastle United signing Joelinton was ridiculous

4 weeks ago
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Steve Bruce has been talking about Joelinton once again.

The striker scoring twice against Morecambe and now everybody wondering whether Bruce will be once again shoehorning the Brazilian back into his Premier League side.

Talking to journalists on Friday, Steve Bruce brought Juan Sebastian Veron into the Joelinton debate.

Juan Sebastian Veron was bought by Manchester United in summer 2001 and at the time became the most expensive signing in English football.

Man Utd paying £28.5m to Lazio for the midfielder and Steve Bruce recalling…:

“I remember the Man United lads telling me about [Juan Sebastian] Veron when Manchester United signed him [in 2001].

“What a player they said and it is fair to say he never hit the heights that all the players at Manchester United thought at the time because it didn’t quite happen for him.

“Sometimes these things happen and we [at Newcastle United] are not alone in players trying to adapt to the Premier League, adapt to England, adapt to the food, adapt to the weather.

“This is very difficult.

“So you keep working away at them and the more they are here, the more they experience what it’s like to play in England, get used to England, because we are a unique nation – that is for sure.

“Settling in has been difficult for people.

“It’s a bit like us.

“Where is there an Englishman around the world plying his trade?

“There are not many because we find it very difficult, so it’s a big thing now when you bring in a foreign player from a different environment.”

The thing that jumps out for me, is that Steve Bruce has (inadvertently) explained why Newcastle United signing Joelinton was so ridiculous last summer.

As outlined above, Steve Bruce explains why signing players from abroad is such a risky business…

The thing is though, when Manchester United bought Juan Sebastian Veron in 2001, they had a brilliant squad and were dominating English football, having just won their third Premier League title in a row, they could afford to both buy Veron and integrate the Argentine midfielder into their team.

In his first season, Veron started 24 PL matches and came off the bench in another two. He was never a prolific goalscorer and in Italy had averaged four a season, so the five PL goals he scored for Man Utd in 2001/02 was pretty decent.

Compare that to Newcastle United last summer, Mike Ashley had happily pushed Perez and Rondon out of the door as well as Rafa, between them they had scored 23 of Newcastle’s 42 PL goals.

Steve Bruce has recently repeated for the umpteenth time that he isn’t a puppet and it is he who has had the final say on every single incoming player since he arrived at St James Park.

So he and Mike Ashley own the signing of Perez and Rondon’s replacements.

They thought it was a brilliant idea to sign as the goalscoring replacements, permacrock Andy Carroll who hadn’t scored a Premier League goal for 16 months, plus Joelinton, a striker who had never played in England and whose best league season return was eight goals in the very weak Austrian league.

It gets worse though, when you look at the way Steve Bruce (under orders from Mike Ashley?) has handled Joelinton.

The Brazilian was signed by Newcastle United on 23 July 2019 and 19 days later made his first competitive start against Arsenal.

Since arriving at the club, Newcastle have played 49 matches and Joelinton has been on the pitch in 48 of them, the only exception was the home League Cup match against Leicester in August 2019, which came immediately after the Brazilian had scored the winner at Tottenham.

Which other club would pay twice as much as they had ever paid before for a 22 year old who had never played or lived in England before and then play him in every single match, apart from one?

We are constantly told that Steve Bruce is such an experienced manager, so if that’s the case, which part of Bruce’s experience tells him that when a player is struggling and indeed getting worse and worse, your reaction should be to still put him on the pitch every single match? Since that Leicester match on 28 August 2019, Joelinton has played (either starter or sub) in all 46 matches, every single Premier League match, every single FA Cup game, every single League Cup match.

My money will be on Steve Bruce (under orders from Mike Ashley?) using Joelinton’s goals against a feeble Morecambe side (finished 89th of 91 league clubs last season) to not only use the Brazilian on Sunday (that is guaranteed!), but to actually get him back in the starting eleven against Tottenham. Instead of keeping him on the bench and trying to ease the £40m+ signing into some kind of PL form.

Back starting in the Premier League, back struggling, back to square one.

(Since Steve Bruce and Mike Ashley signed him. Joelinton has scored two goals in 40 Premier League appearances, whilst it is now 29 months since Andy Carroll last scored a Premier League goal)

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