This wasn’t surprising considering Joelinton scored the only goal of the game against Spurs and averaged a rating of 7.38. (Source: WhoScored)
Crouch also claimed that Joelinton was not the finished article which means Magpies boss Steve Bruce can mould him into what he wants him to be and hinted that the Brazilian could help make the most of teammates Miguel Almiron’s pace due to his hold-up play.
“Well I really enjoyed his performance today I have to say,” said Crouch on BBC One’s Match of the Day 2 (22:49, Sunday, August 25th).
“I know he had a tough time last week, but this week, I thought he showed a lot of character, he’s big and strong, his goal today, his first touch was exquisite, he took Danny Rose out of the game and good finish.
“But not just that, it was his all-round game, he was strong, he held the play up, he moved it there, he’s looking for the ball.
“Here again, pass back, but this is what I enjoyed about him today, his hold-up play, his strength, with the pace of Almiron you need a good hold-up player to bring him into play.
“And the defence would have absolutely loved this (Joelinton was holding off three players while in possession), and you can’t put a value on this, it’s last minute and his defence have worked so hard to get a result and he’s battling three or four men.
“He’s much more than (a lump), I think he’s got good technique, he can play and listen he is not the finished article by any means and I feel Steve Bruce has got a player he can shape and mould into what he wants him to be.”
Considering Crouch knows what it takes to excel in the Premier League, he scored 108 goals in 468 outings after all (Source: Premier League), then Bruce will surely be salivating over the pundit’s claim as he makes it sound like Joelinton could be his ideal player.
Crouch highlighted that the 23-year-old was willinging to help out his defence, something that will aid Bruce in games where his side are up against it, and his suggestion about working well with Almiron will no doubt excite the Magpies boss.
Almiron is yet to score in any of his 13 outings for the Magpies since joining, but after scoring 12 goals in 32 outings in the MLS in 2018 he clearly knows where the goal is, it’s just about unlocking his potential and it seems Crouch believes Joelinton could do that.
If Bruce got Almiron firing and Joelinton was able to add to the one goal he got against Spurs, then the Magpies could soon rack up the wins and make his job easier.
Also given that Crouch believes Joelinton is able to be moulded due to still only being 23-years-old, meaning he still has the potential to get better, that has to excite Bruce as he can turn him into his ideal striking option.