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Joelinton figures don’t add up with Patson Daka deal

1 month ago
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I was interested to read about Leicester City’s latest signing, the Foxes bringing in Patson Daka, the deal having so many parallels with Newcastle United’s move for Joelinton.

Daka a young 22 year old striker in the early stages of his career.

Joelinton back in July 2019, a 22 year old striker in the early stages of his career.

Patson Daka has so far played all his club football in Austria, as well as international football with Zambia.

Leicester investing £22m due to what Daka has achieved in the weak Austrian league.

These past two seasons have seen Patson Daka score 51 goals in only 42 league starts (plus 17 sub appearances) for RB Salzburg. Those 51 goals scored from 3,830 minutes at an average of a goal every 75 minutes.

For Joelinton, he spent two years at Rapid Vienna in 2016/17 and 2017/18, scoring 15 league goals in 45 starts and 15 sub appearances. Those 15 goals scored from 4,088 minutes at an average of a goal every 272 minutes.

If you are paying relatively big money (£22m) for a striker like Daka whose track record is all based around goalscoring in a low level league, you want stand out stats. A goal better than one a game (every 75 minutes) is the kind of stand out stats you want to see in the Austrian league.

Which brings me to Joelinton.

I don’t want to get into any arguments about what Joelinton has ‘achieved’ (that would be a short conversation) in his two years at Newcastle United. However, there are still massive unanswered questions as to why on earth Mike Ashley was demanding at all costs that Joelinton had to be signed for Newcastle United, at a figure that was at least twice the previous club record.

Mike Ashley declaring in July 2019 (in his infamous Mail piece – see below) about Rafa Benitez and Joelinton, after the former had gone and the latter arrived:

‘…he [Rafa Benitez) thought the £40m for Joelinton wasn’t worth it. It’s too much and the club shouldn’t spend it.

‘And very occasionally, I get to be me in this world. So here’s the deal. I’ll pay £20m of it personally. Nothing to do with the club. Above and beyond the budget. Rafa valued him at £20m. So that’s what would come out of the club budget. The rest, £23m – I’ll pay. And he still didn’t sign it off. Looking back, I think he knew for a long time he was going to China because it was like we couldn’t do anything. Joelinton was the test.

‘Why on earth would you not want that? As a football manager, with all the things you have said, why wouldn’t you want Joelinton? It wasn’t even as if it was him or Salomon Rondon. And we told him that. We just wanted Joelinton secured.’

With Mike Ashley having this week delayed the publication of the 2019/20 Newcastle United accounts still further, we still don’t know whether or not Ashley kept his promise to pay £20m or £23m of the Joelinton transfer from his own private funds. Though I think we can all guess what will turn out to be the truth!!!

When Newcastle United did sign Joelinton in July 2019, much was made of a half decent season for the Brazilian in the Bundesliga scoring seven goals. Seven goals only half decent up to a point and that point not suggesting he was worth anything like £40m / £43m!

However, when you read fully what Mike Ashley had to say about the whole buying Joelinton saga and Rafa Benitez saying he didn’t want Newcastle to buy the striker and if they did, he was worth at most half of what Mike Ashley insisted they were going to pay, it becomes clear that the decision to buy Joelinton was not based on that Bundesliga season of 2018/19.

Mike Ashley saying that he was trying to buy Joelinton in January 2019, meaning that surely long before that the info had been put together by the recruitment team as to why the then 22 year old Brazilian should be a target and a £40m / £43m target at that!

At best, when it comes to playing for Hoffenheim, Mike Ashley and his NUFC people (not including Rafa!) had only 14 Bundesliga starts (up to the end of December 2018) at the very most to judge the striker on, though in reality surely it would have been based on stats at the very most up to the end of November 2018 – by when Joelinton had made only 10 Bundesliga starts.

Which brings us back to Patson Daka, Joelinton and the Austrian League. Daka has scored three Champions League goals these past two seasons for RB Salzburg, Joelinton had only scored one Champions League goal for Hoffenheim and made only four starts.

So again, common sense takes you back to those two years Joelinton spent in Austria for Rapid Vienna.

That form must surely have been key to Mike Ashley and his NUFC people (or whoever) deciding that somehow Joelinton was worth £40m+ and was a MUST BUY player at whatever cost.

Joelinton scored a goal every 272 minutes in the weak Austrian league, a rate of worse than a goal every three matches.

None of it makes sense, if you were paying £40m+ for a forward with a strike rate of a goal every three games from a Premier League club, I think you would think twice (or more). Paying £40m+ for a striker averaging less than a goal every three matches in Austria, is simply bizarre.

Like so much at Newcastle United under Mike Ashley, we have far more questions than answers.

Mike Ashley PR statement in The Mail with the help of Martin Samuel – 26 July 2019:

Mike Ashley insisted on Friday night that it was ‘impossible’ for Newcastle to have kept Rafa Benitez – and that the former manager was determined to take a lucrative deal to China from the start.

Ashley revealed he even floated the idea of an eight-year contract with Benitez at a meeting on May 16, and that the manager’s refusal to commit could have cost the club record signing Joelinton.

Ashley claims the club suspected there would be problems with the Benitez negotiation when he declined to sign off on the £40m deal for new striker Joelinton in February. As manager, Benitez had the final say on all transfers, but would not give the go-ahead on Joelinton even though Newcastle had the fee and personal terms agreed, and the player had passed a medical.

Ashley revealed: ‘We delivered Rafa’s number one target in January, Miguel Almiron, but Hoffenheim wouldn’t sell Joelinton. Then in February they said we could get him early, but it would cost £40m. He was a name we had discussed with Rafa, and our recruitment people had him top of their list. I thought it was one of those that would keep drifting away, but no, we had it done.

‘I was so excited to tell Rafa we’ve got another one coming, but when Lee Charnley, our managing director, had the conversation, his view was that he didn’t want to commit to the transfer until he knew what his position was with the club next season. And I didn’t get that. Is this the bloke who had given it to me for the last 12 months?

‘Proper given me bucketfuls – which I may or may not deserve, but I don’t deserve it on this one, because I’ve done it. I’ve got his first choice, Almiron, and this other player who was so exciting we thought he’d be out of our range. When we first sat down with Rafa, we didn’t think we would pay this much for a player. We’d never done that before.

‘From there, the relationship deteriorated very quickly. I was personally very disappointed, and that’s putting it politely. I was freaked out. I’m thinking, “I clearly don’t understand anything about football” because I’m all for celebrating and going mad and suddenly it’s, “No – you’ve got to sort my deal out first.” So we had another few weeks of correspondence and then it wasn’t just his deal, it was that he thought the £40m for Joelinton wasn’t worth it. It’s too much and the club shouldn’t spend it.

‘And very occasionally, I get to be me in this world. So here’s the deal. I’ll pay £20m of it personally. Nothing to do with the club. Above and beyond the budget. Rafa valued him at £20m. So that’s what would come out of the club budget. The rest, £23m – I’ll pay. And he still didn’t sign it off. Looking back, I think he knew for a long time he was going to China because it was like we couldn’t do anything. Joelinton was the test.

‘Why on earth would you not want that? As a football manager, with all the things you have said, why wouldn’t you want Joelinton? It wasn’t even as if it was him or Salomon Rondon. And we told him that. We just wanted Joelinton secured.’

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