No matter where Rafael Benitez’s career will take him after St James’ Park, Newcastle fans will all surely still place him as a club icon for his three-year spell in the North East.
The Spaniard is held in high regard after winning the Championship and then turning Newcastle into a solid mid-table side in the Premier League.
Therefore, the advice of the Champions League winner is usually accurate and one everyone will respect – but his verdict on new signing Joelinton might be one they may wish to ignore.
The Daily Mail recently reported that Benitez explored other options to sign this summer should he have remained at Newcastle after warning the club that the 22-year-old was worth only half of the reported £40million spent to secure his services, something which will surely have the Magpies faithful hiding behind the sofa.
New boss Steve Bruce will surely be ready to set the physical Joelinton loose in the Premier League, with the Brazilian surely ready to use Benitez’s damning verdict as motivation to succeed in the top-flight.
Joelinton definitely has the capabilities to become the main man at Newcastle, with his physicality and flair a mixture that is certain to cause every opposition defence problems next season.
The 22-year-old achieved a WhoScored average match rating of 7.21 after scoring 10 goals and delivering five assists in 30 appearances in both league and cup.
Joelinton won 2.3 aerial battles per game on average, on top of two shots and 1.5 key passes per game [WhoScored], all stats which prove that, as well as a goalscorer, the Brazilian can hold the ball up and bring playmakers into the game – similar to what Salomon Rondon was known for last season.
The young forward must put the pricetag and Benitez’s words to the back of his mind next season, and will surely be out to prove the former Newcastle boss wrong in his advice.