Joelinton played a big part in last night’s FA Cup win over Oxford, bagging a goal and an assist in his 37 minutes on the pitch, but a brilliant clip of him has emerged from last weekend’s 0-0 draw with Norwich.
As the video below shows, the Brazilian is spotted busting a gut to get back in the dying stages against Norwich, running from one box to the other to deny Teemu Pukki:
Considering the 23-year-old is under so much scrutiny and is often criticised for every error he makes (becoming somewhat of a scapegoat at times), it’s only fair to show clips like this when he’s doing some superb work for the team.
Without his lung-busting run, Pukki has much more time to bring that ball down and finish, meaning Joelinton may well have saved us a point on Saturday. Most strikers wouldn’t have had the determination to do that – never mind the engine so late in the game.
Don’t get me wrong, the Brazilian can look cumbersome, has cut a frustrated figure at times and must show this sort of drive and determination at the other end, but to say he doesn’t put in a shift for the team is totally unfair – and this helps prove that.
He’s still learning to be a number 9 and clearly isn’t finding it easy to play in that lone striker role (something he never did at Hoffenheim) in a team that rarely gets bodies close to him.
That’s obvious and he needs to improve to justify his £40m price tag, however he’s working hard, fighting for every ball and chipped in with a crucial goal and assist last night – with his run, burst of pace and calm finish being one of the big positives from last night’s win at the Kassam.
Let’s hope his rib is ok and he can kick on after a confidence-boosting goal and assist last night.