What did we learn about Newcastle United this season? Quite a bit…
The 2019-20 Premier League campaign came to an end yesterday and it was an interesting season, to say the least. Newcastle United were tapped as relegation favorites by several pundits and neutral fans at the start of the season, but the Magpies managed to earn a decent mid-table finish.
Multiple storylines surrounded Newcastle United all season – from Steve Bruce replacing Rafa Benitez to the pending takeover – but what did we learn about the team through 38 games? The list could be endless, but here are five key takeaways from the 2019-20 campaign.
Joelinton: A Striker? A Winger?
Newcastle United broke their transfer record (£40m) to secure the services of Joelinton from Hoffenheim. The German outfit won this deal, hands down. The Magpies thought they found their striker of the future, but the Brazilian only managed to score two goals in 38 Premier League games, and found the back of the net four times across all competitions.
One could argue that Steve Bruce placed a ceiling on Joelinton’s success as his ultra-defensive tactics left the 23-year-old isolated and scrapping for limited chances. However, even when the Toon made the shift to an attacking 4-2-3-1 shape, Joelinton failed to improve. His teammate Dwight Gayle certainly benefited from this change with four goals and he kept the club’s record signing on the bench as a result.
It is obvious that Joelinton is not cut out to be a center-forward or the primary target man in the final third, but can he be a key player out wide? He is far from being as dynamic and quick as Allan Saint-Maximin, but he has good vision and controls the ball well. Joelinton has a lot to prove over the next few months or else he will find himself with a one-way ticket out of Tyneside in January.