Les Ferdinand has backed Joelinton to prove the doubters wrong and come good, claiming the Brazilian has “all the attributes” to succeed in England and become a “real asset” – even if he’s not a traditional no.9.
Joelinton has struggled since his £40million arrival from Hoffenheim, scoring just 3 goals in 29 appearances, but Ferdinand – who knows what it takes to score goals in a black and white shirt and has watched the forward before during his time in Germany – thinks his time will come.
Speaking to Give to Locals #InspiredToGiveCampaign, Ferdinand said:
“I’ve seen Joelinton play in the past – before he signed for Newcastle – and he’s a modern-day centre forward who can play down the left and the right as well as through the centre.
“He actually prefers playing on the left or right rather than through the middle, but I accept that he has the look of a traditional centre forward.
“He’s got all of the attributes to do well at St James’s Park and I honestly believe he can come back stronger given the chance.
“There are huge pressures associated with wearing the number nine shirt for Newcastle when you consider the people who have worn it before.
“I hope the fans continue to get behind Joelinton and realise that just because he’s not a traditional number nine it doesn’t mean that he can’t be a real asset.
“He works so hard for the team and deserves support.”
Most Toon fans, myself included, thought Joelinton was going to be of a similar ilk to Salamon Rondon, but with superior technical ability and a sharper eye for goal.
We have been let down so far, especially considering the price tag, but the system hasn’t helped him and he is still only 23, which means time is on his side.
I’m not quite as optimistic as Sir Les though, and still feel like we will need a new striker ahead of the next campaign.