A former teammate of Joelinton’s has spoken out about his struggles at St James’ Park following his £40m move from Hoffenheim last summer.
This comes from Lukas Rupp – who played alongside the Brazilian in the Bundesliga last season – with the Norwich new boy believing Steve Bruce’s ‘park the bus’ tactics have left the 23-year-old too isolated up top.
Speaking to German site ‘Kicker’, here’s what Rupp has had to say about his former Hoffenheim teammate:
“He has a really hard time there.
“They play a 5-4-1, park the bus in front of their own goal, and Joelinton has to struggle pretty much on his own in the front.”
I agree with elements of this, with our set up and inability to play to Joelinton’s strengths making his job as a striker a thankless task at times, however it’s only fair to recognise the fact he’s not always done enough when we’ve got the ball into him in good areas.
Most are aware it’s been tough to play in this system this season, but there’s been too many occasions where either his touch, lack of movement or natural instinct in front of goal have left fans scratching their heads to put it mildly.
With him looking much better in his last start at West Brom – which coincided with him getting more support after a switch to a more attacking 4-2-3-1 formation – he’ll hopefully begin to show what he’s capable of when football finally resumes.