Les Ferdinand knows a thing or two about wearing number 9 and scoring goals for Newcastle, and he’s been talking about the current custodian of the famous shirt.
It’s fair to say Joelinton has endured a woeful first season in English football, but in his defence he’s been playing out of position, in a style that doesn’t suit him, with hardly any service.
This combination of factors, as well as maybe Steve Bruce’s coaching have seen our £40m (I still don’t believe we spent that) signing from Hoffenheim score just once in 29 Premier League games.
When asked about the 23-year-old Brazilian – who he claims to have watched closely during his time in Germany – the Toon legend said what appears to be obvious to absolutely everyone except Steve Nickson and Lee Charnley:
“It is part of my job to know players like Joelinton – and although we couldn’t afford him, we were aware of him,”
“I know Hoffenheim’s director of football quite well and I had seen Joelinton play a few times.
“This issue he has got is that he is not the traditional No9.
“He is a modern day centre forward who can play left and right, and through the centre.
“He’s a player who prefers to play left and right but when you have someone of his ilk and size, everyone expects him to be the No9.
“He would have to learn the position to be the No9 Newcastle want him to be, but I am not sure that’s how he wants to play.”
I’m one of the few people who still thinks Joelinton can come good in a Newcastle shirt.
It isn’t blind optimism, I live in Japan where the Bundesliga is hugely popular due to the number of Japanese players employed there, and I made a point of watching him after we were first linked with him.
I’ll be honest I was delighted when we signed him, and still believe in an attacking system he can be an asset.