Darren Bent has admitted that he feels sorry for Newcastle United striker Joelinton.
The Brazilian has hit just one goal in his first seven Premier League outings, and Sky Sports pundit Bent believes his frustrations are rooted in a lack of service from his teammates.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “Nothing to work with, it’s a horrible situation for him to be in because when you’re a centre forward, you’re not getting any service, people saying: ‘Well you’re not scoring any goals,’ it’s so tough. You can’t win as a striker.
“People will not care, they go: ‘We paid all this money for you, you need to be able to make something happen,’ and it just doesn’t work like that. Unless you’re Messi, every striker needs service. If you’re getting zero or next to zero, what are you expected to do?
“No one at that club is doing him any favours and it’s making him look bad, but he’s not a bad player.”
To be fair to Joelinton, you kind of have to agree with Bent here. The Brazilian may be having a pretty lean time in front of goal, but in his defence, the players around him are hardly handing him scoring opportunities on silver platters. Supposed principle creator Miguel Almiron has only managed 0.4 key passes per game in the Premier League so far this season, as per Whoscored, and while Christian Atsu has served a bit better, averaging 1.8, as per Whoscored, there is still a worrying lack of creativity in the side. As such, it is perhaps little surprise that Joelinton has only managed 1.9 shots per game so far this term, as per Whoscored. As a point of reference, Dwight Gayle averaged 2.4 in the Championship with West Brom last term, as per Whoscored. The 22-year-old needs help, but you worry there its nobody in this team to provide it.