In an exclusive interview with Football FanCast, Rob Lee, who is a Newcastle United Hall of Famer, asked for the Magpies’ Head of recruitment, Steve Nickson, to come out and admit he got it wrong over bringing Joelinton to the club and paying £40 million for him.
Newcastle smashed their record transfer fee before the 2019/20 season as they splashed out £40 million for Joelinton who was playing for Hoffenheim at the time and finished the season with seven goals and seven assists, his best-ever return.
Joelinton is now into his second season on Tyneside and it is still unclear what his best position is having been played as a striker and a winger on both flanks with little effect, which has raised multiple questions over who brought him to the club, with reports suggesting the deal was agreed five months prior to the Brazillian signing.
Speaking on who he wants to come out and take the blame for the Joelinton signing and how the club doomed him from the beginning, Lee told FFC:
“First of all, I want to know who spent £40 million on Joelinton. If it was Steve Nickson, then come out and hold your hands up and say ‘yeah, I sanctioned and put forward that deal’, but I’m sure he won’t.
“Secondly, the club should have made it clear from the beginning that he’s not a centre forward and they could’ve done that by not giving him the number nine shirt.
“The minute he was given the number nine shirt he’s a centre forward. He’s the club’s most expensive signing and with him being a forward player as well as the number nine, people instantly expect him to score 20-25 goals a season.”
Joelinton has been an ever-present under Steve Bruce, despite his poor form and decision making in the final third.
Since arriving at Newcastle, he has managed just seven goals and seven assists in 72 games – that output was the same as what he got in his final season with Hoffenheim.