Joelinton suffered a knock in Newcastle United’s win against Manchester United last week but is still expected to start against Chelsea after the international break is over, according to The Athletic journalist Chris Waugh.
The former Chronicle reporter claimed via a live Q&A session on The Athletic’s website that Joelinton, 22, is likely to start against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge next week despite his knock and the fact that Andy Carroll and Dwight Gayle are back to fitness.
“Joelinton has lots of positive attributes but he is still adapting to play more centrally. I’d be surprised if he didn’t start at Chelsea, however,” said Waugh. “I think Carroll and Gayle will be good options off the bench during the second half.
“Newcastle are keen not to rush either back given their injury problems and, even with the international break to get themselves fit, I don’t think any risks will be taken.
“Joelinton is certainly not playing badly and, as long as the knock he sustained last week heals, I expect him to start.”
Joelinton has scored just one goal in eight Premier League appearances since his club-record switch to Tyneside from Hoffenheim in the summer.
Newcastle are yet to see Joelinton come up with the goods in terms of goals but his all-round play has been something that deserves a mention amid a time when fans might be starting to get concerned about his goal record. According to stats by WhoScored, Joelinton has won more aerial duels [4.9] than any other player in the Newcastle squad this season while his pass accuracy of 82.2 per cent ranks him second out of Steve Bruce’s squad out of the players with more than four league starts. Joelinton’s pass accuracy is actually better than Sean Longstaff’s, Jonjo Shelvey’s and Isaac Hayden’s, which says a lot about how good the forward is on the ball. Newcastle just don’t create enough chances, that’s why he isn’t scoring the goals. Only Watford [four] have scored fewer league goals than the Magpies’ five this season, which suggests that it’s more than just an issue with the centre-forward.