Quinn points out that the Brazilian had just TWO touches inside the opposition box at Palace last weekend – and believes that in itself is one of his biggest problems.
He accepts Joelinton is young, inexperienced and struggling in a new league – whilst also being in a poor team that doesn’t give him nearly enough good service – but feels he must show more hunger and desire for a player with his physique.
Here’s what he’s had to say when speaking to The Chronicle about the £40m forward:
‘I don’t know the kid but it’s no surprise to me that he’s not scoring in the Premier League at this age.
‘You know from where he’d come from, which I highlighted when he signed, he’d only been in double figures a couple of times – that was in Austria, which is nothing like the Premier League.
‘He’s been in double figures with cup goals but it’s hardly prolific enough for £40m.
‘He’s not an out-and-out goal-scorer, and it’s taken the manager until February to mention that.
‘He’s got the physique to hold the ball up and that’s why I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that he’s got to contribute more, get in the box more and be hungry and be selfish.
‘If you miss the chances at least the team are creating chances and then if he keeps on missing chances then he’s dropped and you put the next striker in.
‘But at this moment he’s not good enough in the Premier League to score goals, and they’re not creating enough to score goals and to get themselves out of trouble against bang average teams in the Premier League teams – like I said it’s just not good enough all round.
‘If Steve Bruce asked me to come in and do a few training sessions with Joelinton, I would do.
‘I’d sit him down first and go through his game, and tell him where he should be in places and where he shouldn’t in regards of coming to deep.
‘Doing drills, staying behind working all hours just hitting that back of the net whether the keeper is there or not.
‘When I went onto the pitch for the warm ups, I’d ping a few balls into the back of the net to get the feel of it, and to get my the shooting range going.
‘I’d stay after training and get one of the youth team goalkeepers in there – the keepers were sick of me. But I did that, especially if I was on a goal drought as well.
‘You’ve got to keep your sharpness up in this game.
‘If you’re not a natural you’ve got to keep at it until it comes becomes second nature – because it’s not second nature with this kid.‘
I believe Joelinton has been a scapegoat at time – many foreign strikers take time to settled yet he’s been given a thankless task (and put under a lot of pressure thanks to the £40m price tag) to look good up top when starved of service and left so isolated.
That said, there’s basic areas of his game that MUST improve. We can blame Bruce all we like for poor tactics, the fact we create so few chances, play negatively and don’t get bodies close to him, but he hasn’t always shown enough desire to get on the end of crosses or get himself in good positions in the box.
Yes there’s an argument that he’s more of a false number 9 who wants to drop deep, link the play and allow the two wingers to get in behind (like Firmino does with Salah and Mane as inside forward at Liverpool), but he’s said himself he wants to be come a goal scorer and out and out centre forward – so we need to see more from him in and around the box.
It’s an absolute shambles that we’re using a player Hoffenheim fans compared (style wise) to Roberto Firmino as a battering ram and ‘like for like’ Rondon replacement – highlighting how flawed our transfer approach really was last summer – but the window is now shut and we must make the most of what we’ve got.
Gayle could yet take Joelinton’s place up top this weekend, but should the big Brazilian start against Burnley, let’s hope he at least gets himself into better positions to give himself a chance of scoring his first league goal at St James’ Park!