Newcastle United’s void up top

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 21: Joelinton of Newcastle United walks off after being substituted during the Premier League match between Everton FC and Newcastle United at Goodison Park on January 21, 2020 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 21: Joelinton of Newcastle United walks off after being substituted during the Premier League match between Everton FC and Newcastle United at Goodison Park on January 21, 2020 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images) /
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Newcastle United have continued to receive little quality and production from their strikers.

Throughout this season, Newcastle United have been solid defensively and in the midfield at times, but the club has struggled to get much from their strikers the entire season. Joelinton has been dismal in his first season and Dwight Gayle, Yoshinori Muto, and Andy Carroll haven’t been able to stay healthy. The troubling trend of minimal impact up top continued in yesterday’s loss.

In their 1-0 defeat, Newcastle United struggled in the attack against Crystal Palace. Joelinton started up top, but he switched with Allan Saint-Maximin and played out wide. Dwight Gayle came off the bench and replaced Miguel Almiron, pushing Joelinton to the right-wing. I’m not sure if I recall Gayle getting on the ball more than a couple of times after he came on, a dismal return from injury.

Newcastle United are either last or second-to-last in shots, shots on target, and goals in the Premier League. Jonjo Shelvey is still the leading scorer with five goals as a midfielder and Joelinton has only one goal, shockingly more than Gayle, Carroll, and Muto combined. A major piece of concern for Joelinton is his positioning. One of the silver linings for him this season has been his willingness to get back and defend and win the ball towards the midfield. But, when he does that, which is often, he leaves a void at the top of the formation. If he wins the ball and flicks it out wide or forward to Saint-Maximin or Almiron, they can run in behind and take on defenders, but there is nobody in the area to finish the play when they want to play the ball in.

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While he hasn’t shown much ingenuity yet, Steve Bruce will need to figure out a way for there to be more production and presence from the strikers up top for Newcastle United.