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Newcastle: Joelinton has saved his St. James’ Park career

Newcastle endured a horrible first half of the Premier League campaign as they went into January with one win to their name.

Steve Bruce began the season as manager of the club and failed to pick up a single victory before PIF completed their takeover from Mike Ashley and axed him from St. James’ Park – handing Eddie Howe the reigns.

The ex-Bournemouth boss has since picked up four wins for the Magpies and led them out of the bottom three in the table as it stands.

Saved his career

One of the players who has been pivotal to Newcastle’s upturn in form under Howe is Joelinton. The Brazilian struggled badly under Bruce as he was unable to provide a consistent attacking threat after joining as a number nine from Hoffenheim in 2019.

Has Joelinton been Newcastle's POTS?

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Yes

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No

In two full seasons under the current West Brom coach, he scored six goals in 55 Premier League starts. This shows that he was not cut out to lead the line for the Magpies in the top-flight.

Last year, Toon legend Alan Shearer blasted the attacker and berated his lack of quality in possession, saying:

“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.”

However, since this criticism from Shearer and Howe’s arrival at the club, he has been converted into a box-to-box midfield player and has been sublime in his new role.

In the Premier League this season, he has won 173 individual duels and has made 55 tackles and 24 interceptions in 22 appearances. This shows that he has embraced the physical side of his duties in a midfield position as he has been tank in the middle of the park for Newcastle with his knack for getting stuck in and winning his battles.

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Ameobi celebrates a Newcastle goal

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He has also created 18 chances and completed 26 dribbles as he has shown off an attacking drive from a deeper midfield position, rather than being asked to be the focal point of the attack – which he struggled with. Joelinton is, therefore, still capable of delivering quality in the final third, albeit it is now a much smaller part of what he is being tasked with in matches.

The former Bundesliga hitman has saved his Newcastle career by reinventing himself as a midfield and Howe will be hoping that he can continue to perform to a high level in that role for the rest of the season and beyond. His statistics as a striker were far from good enough and he could have been left facing the exit door had he not been able to adapt to playing further down in the teamsheet.

AND in other news, Huge blow: Howe facing major NUFC setback as big news emerges, fans will be devastated…

Article title: Newcastle: Joelinton has saved his St. James’ Park career

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