Salomon Rondon’s impact last season was monumental in keeping Newcastle comfortably safe by season’s end. His 11 goals and 7 assists ranked second for Newcastle in both categories to Ayoze Perez’s 12 goals and Matt Ritchie’s 8 assists.
Rondon, of course, will only have that one season as a Magpie in his career. His £16.5m release clause was deemed bad business by the powers that be, and the 30-year-old Venezuelan went on to join Rafa Benitez in China.
In his place, Newcastle now have Joelinton, who at only 23-year-old is still learning how to play in not only the Premier League but as Newcastle number nine.
The start of the Brazilian’s Newcastle career has not been one to write home about, at least statistically. Joelinton has just 1 goal and 1 assist this season in his 11 starts.
However, he does provide a lot to the side with his link-up play, defensive contributions, and winning aerial duels. Though as Newcastle’s lone striker, he going to be judged on goals.
What would be an acceptable output for Joelinton? We think, taking into consideration that he is young and it’s his first year in the Premier League, that around 8-10 goals this season would be a decent return.
Writing in the Chronicle, former Newcastle United striker Mick Quinn thinks that Joelinton will need to provide a few more goals than that this season:
I’ll go back to Salomon Rondon last year. You’re not going to get 20 league goals from Rondon, and you’re not going to get 20 league goals from Joelinton.
If he can contribute with 12-15 Premier League goals and a few assists with the link-up and the hold-up, then he’s done his job.
While we agree that we should be expecting at least 12-15 goals from a £40m striker, Joelinton has not been getting the opportunities to score anywhere near that number of goals. It’s getting worse, not better as the season progresses.
Joelinton is only averaging 1.5 shots per game. He has taken just 16 all season and 13 of those came in Newcastle’s first 6 games.
To compare that to what Rondon did last season, he took a total of 89 shots in his 32 appearances. That is close to double the number of shots per game that Joelinton is averaging.
Even against West Ham, when Newcastle were able to get off a total of 12 shots, only 1 of those was from Joelinton.
Steve Bruce must figure out a way to get the Brazilian involved more in front of goal. He had a nice header back across goal for his first assist at West Ham but has only 3 shots over the past 5 games. That’s just too few for our Brazilian number nine.