Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe has admitted he wishes to have more players like Joelinton.
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The Brazilian has been one the biggest beneficiaries of Howe’s appointment in November.
Derided as a £40m flop after scoring only ten times in 89 appearances under Steve Bruce’s management, the 25-year-old has been reborn under Howe’s watch. Moved back into midfield in December, Joelinton has emerged as one of Newcastle’s key players, starting all but two of the 23 games the former Bournemouth manager has overseen.
Played up front against Norwich on Saturday, the former Hoffenheim star bagged twice, doubling his tally for the entire campaign thus far.
This season alone, Transfermarkt data denotes Joelinton has already played five positions, impressing in a number of them. Not only did his brace at Carrow Road make him Newcastle’s third-highest scorer of the season, the South American also ranks in the squad’s top five for tackles (2.2, via WhoScored), interceptions (1.1), fouls drawn (1) and shots (1.4) per game.
What did Howe say about Joelinton?
Speaking after the win in East Anglia, Howe said (via The Athletic): “Joe can play as a centre forward, a second striker, wide and as a No 8. It’s great to have players with that versatility — I wish I had a few more.”
That, really, is a remarkable thing to say.
Indeed, it shows the transformation Joelinton has gone through that the manager now actively wants more players like him. Laughed off for much of his Newcastle career, it’s a credit to the forward.