Paul Merson stated that he thinks Newcastle United will be alright this season before heaping praise on Brazilian attacker Joelinton.
Merson claimed that Joelinton was a handful in the 1-0 win over Tottenham and looked like he was capable of scoring goals for Steve Bruce’s side.
“I think they will be alright,” wrote Merson in his column for the Daily Star.
“I like the new signing Joelinton.
“He was a handful at Spurs and looks like he has goals in him.
“And they have plenty of experience.”
The majority of Merson’s section on Newcastle in his Daily Star column is dedicated to Bruce, but his comments on Joelinton are far more interesting. Given that the Magpies lost 2018/19 season top goalscorers Salomon Rondon and Ayoze Perez over the summer, there is a lot of pressure on Joelinton to rack up loads of goals to help the Magpies win game after game. The Brazilian looked like a lost cause to some already during the 3-1 loss to Norwich City as he missed two opportunities to score, he had two efforts on goal with neither hitting the target and slumped to a lowly rating of 5.86 (Source: WhoScored). However despite that potentially confidence-denting display, especially given the reaction, Joelinton shone brightly against Tottenham last week. Not only did the 23-year-old get the winning goal for his side, and his first for the club, but he was a nuisance for Spurs as he never stopped working hard. Joelinton touched the ball 40 times against Spurs, only Matt Ritchie and Miguel Almiron touched the ball more (Source: WhoScored), and that was a reflection of how he was all over the pitch trying to help his side.