One of the issues with our £40m record signing Joelinton is that he’s far too isolated playing as a lone striker.
Couple that with him not being used to playing that role and then add in that he’s brand new to the Premier League, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that he’s continued to struggle.
While it was always expected that it would take time for him to find his feet, his return of just 1 goal and 1 assist this season is very concerning.
It’s becoming quite clear that Andy Carroll could now be our number one striker. Though that carries with it a tremendous risk due to his fragility.
What would that mean for Joelinton? Would Steve Bruce consider another role or just use the 23-year-old as he’s used Carroll so far in a cameo role of the bench?
A few days ago, before the wins against Sheffield and Southampton, Steve Bruce hinted at a change of role for the 23-year-old Brazilian. This is what Bruce said as reported in the Chronicle.
“He’s just got to keep working away and let’s hope we can try and keep encouraging him if we can. He has to get into the box more often.
“In that respect, you can see why half of his career was played to a side in a 4-3-3. When I saw him play live, he played on the left-hand side against Man City in the Champions League.
“You can understand it because half of his career he hasn’t been a natural center forward, so that might give me a bit of food for thought later to play him on the left as well if we’ve got a problem.”
It’s interesting to note that Bruce said this before the Sheffield United win when he most likely had already decided he was going to give Andy Carroll a start.
This is also the second time Bruce has hinted at using Joelinton on the left. In late September, he also spoke about the Manchester City Champions League game.
?? "A lot of teams play with three forwards these days. It's not a problem, that's what they're here for."
— The Chronicle (@ChronicleNUFC) September 20, 2019
At the time, he said the following:
“I saw Joelinton play for Hoffenheim against Man City down the left.
“He’s done that throughout his career. A lot of teams play three upfront.
“I have no problem playing him & Andy Carroll together in a two or even with Saint-Maximin as well in a three at some point.”
These plans may have been put on ice once Allan Saint-Maximin returned from his first hamstring injury a few weeks later against Manchester United. After the Frenchman’s eye-opening displays over the past two months, it’s no wonder Bruce didn’t tinker with moving Allan from the left.
However, now with Saint-Maximin likely to miss a few games, we wonder if the head coach will strongly consider moving Joelinton to the left. While it would take some tinkering as Joelinton is a vastly different player to the Allan, it’s an option that might be tempting.
While we think he’s likely to just bring in Christian Atsu for Saint-Maximin, the fact that he’s mentioned Joelinton on the left twice this season during his struggles is interesting.
The best-case scenario is for Allan to be fit and ok as quickly as possible, but in the case of a prolonged absence, Bruce will have some decisions to make.
Who Was Newcastle's Man Of The Match Against Southampton?
- Martin Dubravka (37%, 1,091 )
- Andy Carroll (25%, 731 )
- Jonjo Shelvey (16%, 470 )
- Fede Fernandez (8%, 228 )
- A. Saint-Maximin (6%, 173 )
- Miguel Almiron (3%, 86 )
- Javier Manquillo (2%, 60 )
- Isaac Hayden (1%, 36 )
- Sean Longstaff (1%, 22 )
- Joelinton (1%, 20 )
- Jetro Willems (0%, 11 )
- Paul Dummett (0%, 8 )
- Ciaran Clark (0%, 7 )
- Fabian Schar (0%, 4 )
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