It was confirmed yesterday that Joelinton would KEEP the no.9 shirt, and new man Callum Wilson has shown his class with some supportive comments towards the Brazilian.
There had been a lot of speculation that our new £20m man would take the famous jersey ahead of the new season, however it emerged from Wednesday’s press conference that Wilson will wear no.13 and Joelinton 9 for the upcoming 2020/21 campaign.
Wilson admits he’d have accepted the challenge if offered the shirt, but feels it’s only right that our ‘record signing’ keep the number, believing it would be wrong to put his foot down and disrupt the dressing room by demanding the no.9.
Here’s what he’s had to say:
“The club record signing wears no.9.
“I want to add to the dressing room, not disrupt it.
“No.13 means a lot to me and that’s why I’ve worn it for the last six years.”
A mature response from Wilson, who is not only an asset on the pitch in his ability to score goals, but also a very decent bloke off it too if his first few interviews are anything to go by.
He seems like a great addition to the dressing room and may only help someone like Joelinton thrive ahead of his second season in England.
Bruce also had this to say about the decision to keep the under-fire Brazilian wearing that famous number 9 ahead of the new season:
“Joe is training now. He’s okay.
“He’ll remain with the No.9 shirt.
“I’ve spoken to Callum on that. He’ll wear 13.
“The kid (Joelinton) still has a big future and I think he’ll be better for last year.
“The type of character he is, I’m convinced he’ll roll up his sleeves at the challenge that lies ahead.”
It will certainly be a confidence boost for Joelinton – being stripped of the number nine would’ve damaged his ego and displayed that Bruce no longer trusted him with the iconic shirt.
Losing the number could’ve been a blessing in disguise, alleviating some pressure and releasing him from last year’s shackles, however it could also be the making of him after a show of faith from both Bruce and our new £20m striker.
For anyone interested, here’s our shirt numbers in full for 2020/21, with Matty Longstaff moving from 43 to 4, Fraser landing no.21, Hendrick wearing 16 and Mark Gillespie 29:
1 Martin Dúbravka
2 Ciaran Clark
3 Paul Dummett
4 Matty Longstaff
5 Fabian Schär
6 Jamaal Lascelles
7 Andy Carroll
8 Jonjo Shelvey
10 Allan Saint-Maximin
11 Matt Ritchie
12 Dwight Gayle
13 Callum Wilson
14 Isaac Hayden
15 Jamal Lewis
16 Jeff Hendrick
17 Emil Krafth
18 Federico Fernández
19 Javier Manquillo
20 Florian Lejeune
21 Ryan Fraser
22 DeAndre Yedlin
23 Jacob Murphy
24 Miguel Almirón
26 Karl Darlow
27 Yoshinori Muto
28 Henri Saivet
29 Mark Gillespie
30 Christian Atsu
32 Daniel Barlaser
36 Sean Longstaff
41 Dan Langley