Steve Bruce has revealed his slight disappointment at some aspects of Joelinton’s display against Burnley – but says his position switch has given him ‘food for thought’ ahead of Saturday’s clash with Crystal Palace.
The Brazillian was shunted out wide for the clash at Turf Moor in the absence of Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron, but he drifted in and out of the game at Turf Moor.
He had some bright moments, almost setting up Gayle with some powerful play and a brilliant cross out wide, but we didn’t see enough from our £40m man.
Here is what Bruce had to say about his thought process against Burnley:
“It’s too early to say. I know he can play there because he’s played there for Hoffenheim and there were times when he’s done well for the big chance for Dwight.
“He drifted in and out a little bit too much if I’m going to be brutally honest, but he gave me food for thought.”
“I think he’s comfortable on the left because he’s played there half of his career for Hoffenheim. He’s used to the role and I thought he did OK without being a goal threat.
“With the injuries we’ve got, we felt that was the best way to go. Physically against this team, when so much depends on set-pieces, unfortunately, we conceded one but I thought we did well with it in the main.”
Joelinton has at times been the victim of an extreme lack of service since arriving on Tyneside, but 1 goal in 17 appearances is still underwhelming considering the fee paid for his services. He’s also not done the basics well enough at times, which is a concern from your club record signing.
The 5-4-1 system has not been kind to him, which in turn has shot the player’s confidence, leaving him looking like a player who’s struggling to do the basics at times over the past few weeks.
He looked dangerous against Arsenal on the opening day of the season but has had a tough time since and has rarely looked like scoring – and that’s a big concern.
At 23 time is still on his side and there is still plenty of time for him to turn his Newcastle career around, so it will be interesting to see how Bruce uses him ahead of Saturday’s game at St James’ Park.
Would you use him out wide, in the no.10 role or up top this weekend? Or, is it time for Bruce to take him out of the firing line should Almiron return from injury?