Newcastle United have enjoyed a fine start to life back in the Premier League, securing ten points from their opening seven matches- putting them a quarter of the way towards their target of 40 points, which should be enough to secure their status in the top-flight in another year.
Crucially for Rafael Benitez’ side, the Magpies have found new leaders in their side rather than relying upon the men that helped them secure the Championship title last season. Whilst Matt Ritchie remains a crucial player, Dwight Gayle has struggled with the step-up.
In the absence of Gayle, who was subject to a £15m bid from Fulham in the summer and could be linked with an exit again when the January transfer window comes around, summer signing Joselu has slowly become an integral part of the side.
Whilst his tally of two Premier League goals does not stand amongst the top in the division, and stands as the same number from defender Jamaal Lascelles, but his influence in the team isn’t solely down to his performances in front of goal.
Arriving for just £5m, Joselu is proof that a vast amount of money does not need to be spent to provide improvements to the squad. When he arrived, the general consensus was confusion; would he really be better than Aleksander Mitrovic or Dwight Gayle?
Joselu, admittedly, hasn’t had too much competition for his place with Mitrovic missing a chunk of games due to suspension and Gayle struggling to adjust to Premier League football, and that can become an issue as things progress. That said, Joselu has been an impressive light.
All he needs to do now is find some consistency, as three goalless games separated his effort against West Ham with the equaliser against Liverpool last time out, but he has the chance of doing exactly that in the weeks ahead if he remains as Newcastle’s leading striker.
This weekend’s trip to Southampton is difficult but certainly winnable, whereas the following week’s hosting of Crystal Palace, a side yet to find the back of the net this season let alone putting points on the board, is the sort of match where Joselu could hit full throttle.
It’s still early days in Joselu’s career on Tyneside but the early signs are extremely promising.