Newcastle find themselves in a precarious position in the Premier League as they head into the last international break of 2021.
The Magpies are 19th in the table and are the only side in the division yet to win a single match, with 20th-placed Norwich on one win below them.
Eddie Howe has been officially unveiled as the new manager of the club following Steve Bruce’s exit last month and faces the unenviable task of attempting to rescue the situation over the coming months.
One player who has contributed to the club’s poor form this season has been Brazilian attacker Joelinton, who has been dreadful in the Premier League when called upon.
Out of all the outfield players who have started a league match this term, only Ryan Fraser and Jonjo Shelvey have averaged lower SofaScore ratings than Joelinton – 6.55. He has played ten games, starting just five, in the top-flight and has averaged 52 minutes per match.
In that time, per SofaScore, he has lost possession of the ball a whopping 110 times. This means that he has lost the ball once every 4.7 minutes for the Magpies, which works out at roughly 19 concessions per 90.
Couple this with his lack of quality in the final third and you have a player who struggles at both sides of the game for Newcastle. He has zero goals and one assist this season, with 0.6 key passes and 0.4 shots on target per game, via SofaScore. This shows that he is not providing the goods at the top end of the pitch to make up for his lapse play in possession.
Magpies legend Alan Shearer once stated that he finds the forward ‘frustrating’ and lamented the Brazilian’s poor first touch. He said: “A lot of money he cost and he finds it really difficult. His touch is really poor and he hasn’t posed a threat.
“It’s been really frustrating watching him. I actually feel sorry for him because when the ball goes to him, it’s bouncing off him and he’s offering nothing going the other way, also.”
These comments may have come midway through last season, but they are still applicable today as his statistics show that he has not come good at St. James’ Park.
Shearer’s reference to his poor touch could be why he loses possession of the ball far too often, whilst his creative and shooting statistics align with his claim that he does not pose a threat to the opposition.
Therefore, Joelinton has been dreadful for the Magpies in the top-flight and replacing him could be one of Howe’s first tasks in the January transfer window, unless there is a sudden upturn in form over the next couple of months.