Newcastle United thought Joelinton would be their striker of the future, but his form this season has indicated otherwise.
Newcastle United managed to steer clear of the bottom three quite comfortably this season despite minimal contribution from the front line. Of the four strikers in the first team, only Joelinton and Dwight Gayle have found the back of the net this season.
The duo have only combined to score five goals. Their wasted chances and lack of confidence in front of goal has placed a ceiling on the Magpies’ overall success as the team has only found the back of the net 36 times.
Joelinton, who joined Newcastle United for a club record fee of £40m, looked sharp in preseason and he also scored some crucial goals in the FA Cup against opponents in lower leagues.
When it comes to the Premier League, the Brazilian has had a difficult time adjusting to the style of play.
To his defense, Joelinton was often isolated up top due to Steve Bruce’s ultra-defensive tactics, but he is still finding it difficult to score goals even now that Bruce has altered his shape to promote attacking football. Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin have both benefited from this change, but not Joelinton.
The big man has made 35 appearances this season, 32 of which were as a starter, yet he has only attempted 48 shots and has an accuracy rating of 31% in front of goal.
When watching him play, he excels in many areas, such as holding the ball up, finding open teammates, winning aerial duels, and winning 50/50 battles. That’s great, but the key objective for any striker is to score goals.
The 23-year-old is capable of scoring a decent number of goals for Newcastle United, but he needs to work on two things. Firstly, even though he is not a traditional number nine he must accept the fact that he was signed by Newcastle United to lead the front line in that role.
Secondly, the Brazilian needs to find the confidence he once displayed at Rapid Wien and Hoffenheim.
The best way for him to adapt to the number nine role and boost his confidence is by playing in the Championship. Newcastle United would be wise to find a mid-table Championship side in need of a striker to aid his development.
The only catch would be that the Toon would still need to cover the majority of his wages seeing that he is the club’s top earner.
Why loan him out to the Championship instead of some other European leagues? The answer is simple: Joelinton needs to find his feet in England.
The Championship is not as fast-paced as the Premier League, and there is a disparity in defensive quality, but that is exactly what Joelinton needs at the moment.
If the Brazilian can score in double figures in the second tier of English football, there is no doubt that his confidence and understanding of the number nine role will improve when he returns to Newcastle United.
That assumption might be far-fetched, but, in my opinion, a loan would be the best thing for his development.