Newcastle United’s Joelinton is targeting trophies with the club after turning his career around under Eddie Howe.
Joelinton is Newcastle’s record signing, joining from Hoffenheim for £40m in July 2019 but truly struggled to live up to the expectations that came with that transfer fee. In his first season with the club, the Brazilian managed just two goals in 38 Premier League appearances, with more yellow cards than goal involvements.
Just one year after joining, Newcastle signed Callum Wilson to try and deal with Joelinton’s poor form and it did help slightly, though the Brazilian still only scored four goals in 31 Premier League matches in 2020/21.
Another year of struggles appeared to be on the cards for both Joelinton and Newcastle but then Howe took over in November and things have taken a swift 180.
Southampton vs Newcastle betting tips from Squawka Bet
After four games still playing as a striker, Joelinton has since dropped down into a midfield role and looks a completely different player. It’s having its effect on Newcastle too. The Magpies have lost just two of the 10 Premier League matches that Joelinton has started in midfield, and they came in the first two as he was still getting used to the role against Liverpool and Manchester City.
Since that first game against Liverpool, Joelinton has made 40 tackles in the Premier League, with no player managing more during that time. He’s level with Crystal Palace’s Tyrick Mitchell, but has played fewer minutes, averaging an impressive 4.23 tackles per 90 minutes.
But in what may come as a surprise to some given how quickly he has taken to his switch, Joelinton has revealed he hasn’t had much experience in midfield in his career getting sent off in his only previous spell.
“It was the only time before now I played in midfield but it was not my best game. I was sent off (for Rapid Vienna vs Austria Vienna in 2017),” Joelinton told i Sport.
“But when I was asked to do it, I thought ‘Of course’. Anything to help the team and my teammates.”
It certainly has helped with Newcastle moving up to 14th in the Premier League table, seven points clear of Burnley in the relegation zone with games in hand on the teams below them. Newcastle aren’t mathematically safe and won’t want to rest on their laurels but they may soon feel ready to plan for next season in the Premier League.
And Joelinton is thinking big, looking to bring trophies back to the north east.
“To help Newcastle win titles and do great things,” he added of his long-term goals.
“I’m happy here, very pleased for the fans.
“I love the city, my life is good and I hope to stay here for many years.”
There is also the small matter of the World Cup at the end of the year and Joelinton, who has never been capped for Brazil, is still dreaming of having a chance of making it to Qatar.
“It’s a dream. Every player dreams to play for their country and I’m no different,” he said.
“I know if I do right here I have a chance. I need to keep going, keep my feet on the ground and work for the team. If I do that my time will come.”