With Callum Wilson arriving as the primary striker, Joelinton will be able to perform for Newcastle United with much lower expectations.
No matter how you look at it, Joelinton’s debut season with Newcastle United was a major disappointment. His arrival broke the club’s transfer record and he was handed the historic #9 in black and white. But, his performance on the pitch often left much to be desired with only two goals and two assists in 38 Premier League appearances, big miscues in front of goal scattered throughout the season.
There was a lot of speculation that his lack of confidence and the immense pressure on him contributed to his poor play. Now, Callum Wilson has arrived to take the position of the first-choice striker, and that is great news for Joelinton’s psyche.
Every player wants to be “the guy”, but Joelinton should benefit this season from having the spotlight off of him. He will be able to either spell Wilson off the bench, factor in on the wing where he played pretty well last season and getting to start in cup matches vs. lesser opponents.
It’s highly unlikely, but Joelinton could even depart on loan to gain some goalscoring confidence in the Championship. Wilson and Andy Carroll, potentially adding in Elias Sorensen or Yoshinori Muto, can hold down the striker position and Dwight Gayle will return from injury in a few months.
It’s never good to enter a match with the pressure and expectations weighing you down. With Wilson taking that throne and, according to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, the #9 kit, Joelinton should be more relaxed and loose this season.