West Ham have just offloaded £40m goal-shy striker Sebastian Haller to Ajax for around HALF the fee they paid to sign him 18 months ago.
Signed on the back of big seasons in the Bundesliga in the summer of 2019, the club-record forward was supposed to be the man to fire a bottom half club up the Premier League table. Sound familiar?
Well, while the Hammers have managed to sell their £40m flop (albeit for FAR less than they paid for him), we are still left with the conundrum of our own – Joelinton.
Is he a striker? Is he a winger? Does he play much better as a No 10? These are all questions that, seven goals and 56 games on, Newcastle fans are struggling to answer with any real conviction.
Asked to replace recently departed player of the season Salomon Rondon on his own, the Brazilian was thrown in the deep end in a negative 5-4-1 system, a move that no doubt created an avalanche of confidence issues that worsened over time he struggled to register a meaningful shot for us, never mind a goal. He was a young man in a new league, a new country and playing under a new manager who didn’t seem to ‘get him’.
However, whatever the reasons behind his terrible form, we can not kid ourselves and deny what we have seen with our own eyes.
The quality of Joelinton – or lack of – has been hard to watch at times. Watching an apparent £40m player struggle to have a decent first touch and hit shots that are weaker than passes has been painful viewing.
Patience among our fanbase is wearing thin. He has shown glimpses this season of turning his fortunes around but even then, anything he does that shows even a slither of talent can at times be overdone by our supporters who are clearly desperate to see just a glimmer of genuine quality.
My question to you is this – If we were offered the same sort of fee that West Ham look set to receive for Haller (£20m), would you cash in on Joelinton?
I’d probably be in the ‘get rid’ camp if there were an offer on the table. The player himself looks as though he could do with a move away and it could be that he will now never come good at St James’ Park.
That said, there are some who are adamant he’d show why we paid huge money to sign him 18 months ago should a bright, forward-thinking manager replace Steve Bruce and get a chance to work with the Brazilian.
I have seen very little of him that justifies his huge price tag. Rafa has been proven correct when he told The Athletic just months after leaving that Joelinton was a £20m player – and even then that seems steep based on what we’ve witnessed!
Should the opportunity arise, I say get rid, reinvest, and make sure the next forward we bring in can actually score goals.