Sell Them All… Except Joelinton
Andy Carroll, Dwight Gayle and Yoshinori Muto must go this summer. Carroll has an interesting deal in place where he only gets paid when he plays and his contract will expire at the end of this season. His veteran leadership is appreciated at Newcastle United, and the fact that he is a Geordie makes him a fan favorite, but he has failed to meet expectations this season.
With no goals and three assists to his name, Carroll has not had a major impact on the squad. Furthermore, the unfortunate fact that he is injury prone does not help his cause. Gayle is another frustrating case of a striker who has under-performed this season.
Gayle is known as a lethal striker in the Championship, but that reputation flies out the window when he is in the Premier League. Gayle does a phenomenal job of getting into scoring positions, but he wastes several chances that should have been goals. Gayle has made 47 appearances for Newcastle United in the top flight, but only has a mere six goals to his name. The Magpies can still receive some decent offers for him if they make him available this summer.
Now let’s move on to the worst striker Newcastle United have signed in recent years: Yoshinori Muto. When Newcastle United signed the Japanese international last season, fans expected Muto to be around the same level as Gayle, but he ended up making Joselu look like the one that got away.
With only one goal to his name since joining Newcastle United, Muto should work with his agent to see if any clubs in Germany are interested in securing services since he did manage to score 20 goals in 66 Bundesliga games for Mainz 05.
Finally, we arrive at another striker who also made the move from the Bundesliga: Joelinton. Unlike his three striking partners, though, the Brazilian is the only one who should stay. For the money Mike Ashley paid to land Joelinton (£40m), he looks like a terrible signing.
The 23-year-old has scored one goal and bagged two assists this season, and of the 42 chances he has created only 12 have been on target. Far from impressive, I know. So, why keep him? For a few reasons. Firstly, Newcastle United have been an ultra-defensive team for the majority of the season, and this has left Joelinton isolated on an island of his own with minimal support. He cannot be expected to score if the only passes he receives are lobbed crosses from 30-40 yards out.
Secondly, he is a young lad who has the pressure of performing as the club’s record signing in a brand new league. He has missed some golden opportunities that could have taken his tally to seven or eight goals on the season, but he deserves one more season to show fans what he has got. We know he can perform well, just look at his numbers from his time at Hoffenheim.
After this season’s form, however, he will not be the club’s primary striker, but that might actually be the key to getting the best out of him. Defending Joelinton is a big gamble for me as a writer, but giving him until at least January of 2021 is not a bad idea.