Jermaine Jenas suggested that Newcastle United attacker Joelinton hinted that he wanted to be subbed before Steve Bruce withdrew him from the game against Tottenham.
The pundit claimed midway through the second-half that the Brazilian looked absolutely shattered and that he appeared to look like a man who wanted to come off, considering he kept glancing at the bench.
Jenas doubted that Steve Bruce would take him off due to him holding the ball up well for his team, but the Magpies boss did replace Joelinton with Yoshinori Muto in the 88th minute of the match.
“He is playing the role of the No.9 very well,” said Jenas on BBC Radio 5 Live (18:11, Saturday, August 25th).
“But he’s absolutely shattered, he keeps looking over to the bench, that’s the look of a man who wants to come off, but if he keeps performing the way he is, there’s no way Steve Bruce will take him off as he is holding the ball up well.”
Considering that Joelinton touched the ball 38 times, as per WhoScored, despite Spurs dominating possession by having 80% of the ball, as per BBC Sport, it suggests that he was covering a lot of ground in order to try and make an impact, after all, Tottenham weren’t exactly passing the ball around their own half. So with this in mind, it’s no surprise that Joelinton was trying to get Bruce to take him off as the 23-year-old probably felt he had no more gas in the tank. It’s also worthing considering that given the clash with Tottenham was only Joelinton’s third outing in the Premier League, he is probably still learning to cope with the pace of the division after joining from Bundesliga side Hoffenheim earlier in the summer. Given that Joelinton looked so tired to the point where Jenas noticed, maybe Bruce should consider resting him for Wednesday’s League Cup clash with Leicester City. After all, while it would be nice to progress to the third round, Bruce will need to deploy a strong line-up to overcome the Foxes, it does seem like the Brazilian attacker would benefit from a break.