Could Joelinton prove to be key for Newcastle United this season?
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05: Joelinton strikes the ball during the Newcastle United Training Session at the Newcastle United Training Centre on August 05, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

Signed for a club record £40 million from Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim 1899 on 24th July 2019, the arrival of Joelinton appeared to be an exciting time for Newcastle fans. 

The Brazilian striker put pen to paper on a six-year deal, keeping him at St. James' Park until the summer of 2025, showing his commitment to a long-term future with Steve Bruce's side. 

Though, since his move to the North East, Joelinton has endured an underwhelming and difficult experience in the black and white stripes with 10 goals in 80 first team appearances, six of which were scored in the Premier League

His last competitive goal for the Magpies came in May, when he scored from the penalty spot in a 4-3 defeat to Premier League Champions Manchester City.

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Backed by the new number nine

Despite the stats not making of good reading for Joelinton, his teammate Callum Wilson believes his companion will have a 'big part to play this year.' 

Speaking with Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer for the Athletic, he said: 

"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."

Wilson will wear the iconic number nine jersey this season after Joelinton, who will now wear the number seven shirt which was previously worn by Andy Carroll, agreed to the switch.

The former AFC Bournemouth forward also thinks the Brazilian's new style of play and less pressure with changing shirt numbers will make a huge difference.  

"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.”

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Will his third season on Tyneside be a one to remember? 

All eyes will be on the 24-year-old in the upcoming 2021/22 campaign and after scoring in pre-season against League One side Burton Albionthe Brazilian enters his third season in England's top flight as a player desperately eager to impress the Toon Army supporters.