Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink jumped to the defence of Newcastle United attacker Joelinton when being asked why the Magpies are struggling for goals.
The Magpies have only scored four goals in their first seven league games of the season and when asked about their misfiring forwards, Hasselbaink opted to explain while it was understandable that Joelinton was struggling.
The retired attacker dismissed the idea that the 23-year-old was low on confidence and focused on how hard it is jumping from the Bundesliga to the Premier League due to how demanding England’s top-flight is.
Hasselbaink also pointed out that with Newcastle being a struggling side, it didn’t exactly help Joelinton’s bid to get goals and he shared that he just thought the boy needed time.
“I don’t think it’s a lack of confidence, people what they can’t forget is that it’s not easy for a striker coming from Germany into the Premiership and whatever you say the Premiership is the hardest league around to come straight away and do the business,” said Hasselbaink on Match Centre (Sky Sports News, 11:03am, October 4th).
“I had that. I had that!
“The pace is so much quicker, so much faster, the up and down, the level of fitness is just more demanding, better players, the intensity is just so much more and the majority of players who come over from abroad, need that time to adjust.
“Look at Dennis Bergkamp, the first six-months you didn’t see him! It’s only a small group of players who come over and hit straight away and let’s not forget Joelinton he is coming to a struggling team as well, it does not help.
“You need to give the boy a bit of time and also his teammates need to help him as well.”
Hasselbaink was spot-on to defend Joelinton’s slow start to the season as it makes sense that he is still finding his feet in the Premier League.
The 23-year-old has only played 578 minutes of Premier League action, as per Transfermarkt, and given that he is getting used to a new country, a new division, new teammates and everything in between, it makes sense why Steve Bruce and Newcastle fans shouldn’t be surprised he hasn’t hit the ground running.
Joelinton has shown potential in his opening seven league outings for the Magpies as he has managed to score one goal, averaged 1.9 shots per game and has proven to a be a physical presence considering he has won 4.3 aerial duels per game. (Source: WhoScored)
So it’s not like he isn’t showing signs that he could eventually do well at the club.
Also, Hasselbaink was spot-on to offer Joelinton, Bruce and Newcastle fans a glimmer of hope over the forward’s potential by pointing out previous success stories in the Premier League.
The forward admitted he struggled after first coming to England, he ended up scoring 127 goals in 288 Premier League outings (Source: Premier League), and pointed out Dennis Bergkamp previously struggled in his first months in England and the Dutchman is arguably seen as one of the division’s best forwards in the league’s history.
The Arsenal legend scored 87 goals in 315 Premier League and racked up an incredible 94 assists. (Source: Premier League)
So while it is asking a lot for Joelinton to one day replicate the numbers of Hasselbaink and Bergkamp, the fact those two forwards struggled before excelling in the Premier League at least shows the Brazilian shouldn’t be written off by any means just yet.