Former Newcastle United defender Warren Barton has urged forward Joelinton to continue with the way he has started the season at St James’ Park.
Barton commented on how the Brazilian is not similar to players such as David Ginola, but that he must keep plugging away and the goals will start to follow.
The FOX Sports pundit urged Steve Bruce to give Joelinton more support when he is leading the line for the Magpies, with Miguel Almiron alongside not being enough so far to cause any opposition problems.
Speaking to the Chronicle praised the 23-year-old for his positive start to life in the North East, especially his hard work and commitment.
“Joelinton’s just got to keep plugging away – showing the effort, commitment, working hard, and keep his head up but I’ve seen enough positive signs,” he said.
“He needs someone next to him because he’s not got blistering pace, and he’s not going to dribble past the defenders.”
“He’s not a Ginola or a Les Ferdinand, that’s going to hold the ball; he needs some support.”
Steve Bruce recognised early that by playing an extra man in the midfield, he instantly made it difficult for both Joelinton and Almiron to get any support throughout games. It was highlighted in the results as the Magpies lost their two opening fixtures in the Premier League to both Arsenal and Norwich City. Bruce pushed a man from his midfield further forward to make it a front-three against Tottenham and instantly got the reward as Joelinton scored his first for the club in a win against Spurs. The 23-year-old has not been overwhelmed by the Premier League just yet and has looked a physical asset for Newcastle, winning 3.3 aerial battles per game so far [WhoScored]. On top of that he has averaged 2.3 shots per outing for the Magpies, and if he continues with those sort of numbers – the goals will start to come. He may not be the most skilful of players, but Joelinton certainly has all the tools to succeed in England, and he shouldn’t be judged until the end of his first season.