Magpies manager Eddie Howe has revealed that the Brazilian gem is a doubt for the match against Antonio Conte’s side after suffering an injury in the 1-0 win over Everton in the Premier League on Wednesday.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the coach said:
“He had a knock to the side of his knee. We thought he could run it off but when he said he had to come off at half-time we knew there was potentially an issue there.
“We’re hopeful it’s not serious but at this moment it’s still slightly unclear.”
The Toon head coach should be gutted by this update as it suggests that the former Hoffenheim man could be unavailable for selection on Sunday.
Allan Saint-Maximin has been ruled out of contention to feature in the match but this injury to Joelinton is more concerning as he has been a machine in the middle of the park this season, whereas the Frenchman has not started a league match since August.
The central midfielder, who initially joined the club as a striker in 2019, has been in fine form this season for the Toon. He has averaged a SofaScore rating of 7.04 in 10 Premier League outings, after averaging a score of 6.79 in the top-fight last term.
Magpies teammate Kieran Trippier recently described him as an “absolute machine” and stated that he is the standout player in training for the Magpies, which provides an insight into how highly he is rated by his peers.
He has made 3.5 tackles and interceptions per game in the middle of the park, winning 6.6 individual duels per match. The gem has also created 1.1 chances and completed 1.7 dribbles per outing, which shows that he has the quality, and engine, to make a big impact at both ends of the pitch.
Joelinton can break up opposition attacks and provide a shield for the defence whilst then having the ability and drive to push forward with the ball to kickstart counters. This gives Sven Botman and Fabian Schar less to do at the back and allows the likes of Callum Wilson and Miguel Almiron to enjoy more of the ball going forward.
Therefore, Howe will be gutted by this injury doubt and should now be hoping that the enforcer is able to recover in time for Tottenham. If he is not able to do so then the manager will be hoping that it is not a long-term issue for the club to deal with…