Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce has hinted that Magpies centre forward Joelinton may be in line for a change of position.
The club record signing has ploughed a generally-miserable furrow through the middle since joining the club last summer, scoring just once. Bruce, however, has hinted that he may shift him out wide.
“There’s no disputing that he’s finding it tough at the minute because of what goes with being Newcastle’s centre forward and a big price tag,” he said, as per The Chronicle. “He’s just got to keep working away and let’s hope we can try and keep encouraging him if we can. He has to get into the box more often.
“In that respect, you can see why half of his career was played to a side in a 4-3-3. When I saw him play live, he played on the left-hand side against Man City in the Champions League. You can understand it because half of his career he hasn’t been a natural centre forward so that might give me a bit of a food for thought later to play him on the left as well if we’ve got a problem.”
Ah yes, the Joelinton conundrum. The former Hoffenheim man hasn’t been horrible to watch this season, let’s get that straight. He has looked isolated at times, gun-shy at others and toothless pretty much all of the time. However, he has always worked hard, and he does seem to work pretty well alongside the livewire that is Allan Saint-Maximin. So there are some causes for optimism, but for £40million you expect more tangible production. The statistics show that there certainly hasn’t been enough of that thus far. As per WhoScored.com, the 23-year-old has scored just once and made only one assist this term. Despite that, though, he is averaging 1.6 shots, 1.1 key passes and 1.1 successful dribbles per game. Simply put, he has to morph those decent aspects of his game into goals and assists. If he can do that then he can still make good on the Magpies’ colossal investment in him. The thing to remember is that he’s still just 23 years of age and is playing in English football for the first time. He should not be written off yet.
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