Life at Newcastle for Joelinton has never been an easy one. Coming in for a club record fee of £40 million pounds and taking the no.9 shirt meant that all the pressure in the world was on him to succeed.
Given that he has never been a no.9 player, was never worth £40 million and went from a world class manager in Nagelsmann to a bargain bin one with Bruce, Joelinton was always going to struggle.
Interestingly, in an interview with Alan Shearer for The Athletic, Wilson touched upon Joelinton’s life with us and his play style, giving fans reason to believe the Brazilian is now finding his feet in England:
“He’s still young, he’s Brazilian and it’s not easy coming to English football.
“It’s more physical than other leagues. It takes time for some players.
“Some hit the ground running, some take a bit longer and even though he’s a big guy, there’s a lot of big players who don’t use their bodies or their strength as well as they could.
“I think he’s adapting to it now.
“Playing out wide, facing the play and taking on defenders probably suits him better than having his back to goal, but it’s been a couple of years, he’s improving his English, he’s having more conversations with the squad, with fans and the media and is probably feeling more settled which I’m sure helps on the pitch.
“Not having the added pressure of the No 9 shirt might help, too. He’ll have a big part to play this year.”
Everything that Wilson mentions here are all very valid points to why Joelinton may not have been great for us up to this point and why he may be in a position to improve tremendously this season.
Joelinton will be turning 25 later this month, and though he clearly won’t become a world beater, he should be a little bit more savvy and ready for the season ahead.
Of course, one thing that Wilson doesn’t mention in this particular part of the interview, but does touch upon later, is the Graeme Jones factor.
A professional and experienced player in Wilson felt and faltered under the negative impact Bruce and his coaching team was having on the squad, so how would a young, inexperienced player like Joelinton going to cope?
Hopefully, Joelinton will continue to benefit from someone with a little bit more tactical nous about him like Jones because he wouldn’t have a Mackem’s chance in League One of succeeding if it were just Bruce and his cronies.