Back in February, I wrote an article – which you can read here – suggesting Joelinton had between now and the end of the season to save his Newcastle career.
Our injury woes had mounted as Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin and Miggy Almiron were all set for spells on the treatment table. Our blonde-haired Brazilian had been granted yet another opportunity to stake his claim on Tyneside.
Well, time’s up Joe, and it’s not good news.
Toon fans have endured two years of tragedy since Mike Ashley brazenly splashed out £40m to secure a man who had bagged just seven league goals for Hoffenheim the previous year.
Despite rejecting Rafa Benitez’s calls to snap up £16m Salomon Rondon, Ashley took a punt on an unproven 22-year old; every Newcastle fan in the land would tell him now that was a monumental mistake.
Joelinton, to his credit, hit his finest run of form yet for us in the season’s closing stages, bagging goals in three consecutive home games against Spurs, West Ham and Man City.
However, his contributions were overshadowed by another Joe: Arsenal loanee and midfield talisman Joe Willock.
The Gunners youngster hit an explosive purple patch to net eight times in 14 games – including bagging seven in a row – to become a cult hero among supporters that are now drooling at the possibility of a return next season.
To put things into context, in just four-and-a-bit months, Willock has scored more goals than Joelinton has managed in his entire two years at Newcastle.
Reports suggest that our transfer kitty is tight this summer, with the Daily Mail saying we have just £12m to bolster our squad. If resources are thin, then why don’t we recoup some of the wasted £40m and put it to good use by bringing in Willock?
For his own benefit, Joelinton needs a clean slate and to be playing football away from NUFC; the pressures of playing on Tyneside – while wearing that number nine shirt – is clearly mounting heavy on his shoulders.
Almost two years have passed and we still don’t know what this guy’s best position is. A striker? A winger? A number 10? Literally, nobody out there could say so with any real conviction.
It’s hard to analyse what attributes he has so we could pinpoint where he should play. Joelinton doesn’t score goals, isn’t strong in the air, can’t beat a man and doesn’t have the eye for a killer pass.
If a sensible offer comes in for him, we have to snap their hands off and take it. Hoffenheim must be laughing all the way to the bank after conning us out of forty million quid and, if anybody wants to stump up a decent fee, we must do the same.
If money is tight this summer; Joelinton’s wages and price tag could conjure up some much-needed cash for a player who would have a big impact on our fortunes next season.