Former Newcastle left-back Olivier Bernard spoke to BBC Radio Newcastle’s podcast recently about our record signing Joelinton. The owner and CEO of Durham City AFC made some astute observations about the young striker.
Inside Futbol have published the following comments from the Frenchman about Joelinton.
“I still think we are not using Joelinton in the right way and I still think he is a bit confused about his role in front of the attack.
“Looking at him, he wants to play as a second striker and not as a target man at the minute.
“So I think there is a lot of coaching to go in there, but once you have the coaching done, I think he will become a real force for the club, but he’s clearly not quite ready.”
Bernard’s comments reflect a bit of what Alan Shearer mentioned about Joelinton after the Norwich draw. Alan, though, was a lot less forgiving than Olivier in his assessment of what Joelinton was doing wrong upfront.
This is what Shearer said about the 23-year-old after the disappointing Norwich draw:
“But in Joelinton’s case you’re never going to score enough goals whilst you’re content and happy with this.
“Joelinton takes a throw-in in the first half, and then there’s a lack of reaction to get into the box after the ball goes into play.
“If you play that way, you’re not going to score the goals.
“When the ball is eventually played into the box, he’s not in there at all. It gets played out to the edge of the box.”
One of the issues with Joelinton is he’s not getting in the position to score goals. We’ve seen him on occasion make gut-busting runs into the box but not often enough.
We saw him do that against Rochdale at St James Park when he got on the end of Tom Allan’s cross to score just his second goal of the season.
On Tuesday, he made a run against Oxford that Bentaleb put on a dime for him. However, on that occasion, his finishing let him down.
Whether Joelinton can become a force for Newcastle remains to be seen. He doesn’t seem to possess the instincts of a natural goalscorer. Over the summer, Newcastle will need to bring in a quality striker.
Joelinton can still play his part and have a successful Newcastle career. Whether that is as a number nine is doubtful at the moment, however, he still has time to make his mark.