When I first saw that Newcastle had broken their transfer record on signing Brazilian forward Joelinton from Hoffenheim for a fee of £40million, my first thought was my word Mike Ashley has lost his mind.
As we all know the Magpies owner seems to loathe spending money on investing in the Newcastle squad. I then came to the realisation that the north east club was only spending the money that has arrived in the club coffers via the sale of the likes of Ayoze Perez and Joselu this summer. Which made far more sense.
Newcastle had to sign a striker
Even Ashley will have known signing a striker this summer was essential. The sale of Spanish duo Perez and Joselu, coupled with not signing loan star Salomon Rondon on a permanent basis left the Magpies very short of forwards.
In fact, their only senior forward options were Dwight Gayle and Yoshinori Muto. Gayle spent last season on loan in the Championship, while Muto scored just once in his 17 league appearances, 12 of which were from the bench.
Neither were likely to be capable of scoring enough goals to lead the Newcastle forward line on a regular basis. Surprising the Newcastle owner has actually allowed the club to spend money. Kind of him eh!
Joelinton is a young player with promise
The Magpies new arrival certainly has a lot of promise after impressing in the Bundesliga with Hoffenheim. He scored 11 times in 35 appearances in all competitions for Julian Nagelsmann’s team.
The youngster has reached seven league or more goals in the Austrian and German Bundesliga in the last three seasons. Although he does not exactly have a prolific record, for a player of his age it is certainly respectable. He also has the knack notching assists too, having produced seven assists in the German top-flight last season.
Joelinton is not the finished article by any stretch of the imagination. He will, of course, need time to settle. However, in today’s transfer market you don’t get the finished article. He is raw and can develop, which is the sort of player Newcastle must sign while they are in the possession of Mike Ashley.
Also, in their current state, the finished article is unlikely to be heading to Newcastle. They are a great club, but the top strikers will be heading for clubs who can offer European football, especially in the Champions League. The likes of Joelinton is probably the best the Magpies can get at the minute.
A potentially tough season ahead
For the past few seasons, Rafa Benitez’s managerial acumen has guided a squad of poor quality players to safety in the top-flight. Arguably their best permanent squad member Ayoze Perez left too. The squad is full of basement buys and players who are not the sum of the team.
New boss Steve Bruce is a mediocre boss. On paper, if this squad finishes comfortably above the relegation zone, then the season will have been a big success. For those who fancy Newcastle to suffer relegation, they are odds of 9/4 to finish in the bottom three next season.
There are doubts over whether there are three worse teams in the English top-flight this season. However, if the promoted clubs make decent starts to the campaign if could get slightly concerning for the Magpies.
Joelinton looks like a decent signing and hopefully, for the Toon Army, he turns out to be a success. However, the Brazilian’s arrival should be allowed to paper over the massive cracks in the Magpies squad.
There seems unlikely to be any other big signings now that they have spent the Perez money. That is a bleak prospect for Newcastle fans. I hope for their sake the Magpies stay up, as they deserve more than they currently receive from the club’s owner.
Will Joelinton turn out to be a good signing for Newcastle?
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