When Newcastle’s search for a new centre-forward ended with a surprise move for Stoke City outcast Joselu earlier this summer, eyebrows were certainly raised on Tyneside.
The Spaniard didn’t make much of an impression during his time at the Bet365 Stadium and scored just five times on loan at Deportivo last season.
But during his two outings for the Magpies thus far, the 27-year-old has made an almighty difference, providing the physical foothold in the final third that Dwight Gayle has lacked in the Premier League playing as the lone frontman in Rafa Benitez’s 4-2-3-1 setup.
Joselu almost got on the scoresheet in the 1-0 defeat to Huddersfield and went one step further in the 3-0 victory over West Ham on Saturday, scoring the first goal to break the deadlock after 36 minutes.
That was by no means Joselu’s only contribution, however – tellingly of that presence he offers up front, the 6 foot 3 striker also laid on two chances for his team-mates, won four aerial duels (the second-most of any Newcastle player) and had six touches in the opposition box.
That made a drastic difference to Newcastle’s efforts going forward. Not only did Joselu score the Magpies’ first goal of the new season, but Benitez’s side also finished up with more shots against the Hammers than they managed in their first two Premier League fixtures combined.
Joselu’s silenced his early critics for now, but Newcastle will need their summer signing to sustain his form if they’re to comfortably stave off relegation this season.