Newcastle target Joelinton has received glowing endorsements

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Expert Roundup feature, which provides three quotes from those in the know in order to illuminate fundamental strengths, weaknesses, quirks, kinks, stylistic comparisons and general observations of transfer targets and confirmed signings.

According to a report published by The Daily Mirror last week, Newcastle could be set to smash their club-record transfer fee with a £36m deal for Hoffenheim striker Joelinton.

With Salomon Rondon having sealed a reunion with Rafael Benitez at Dalian Yifang, Joselu sealing a switch to Alaves and Ayoze Perez moving to Leicester City for an eye-watering £30m, the Magpies are short of options up front.

The Northern Echo understand that newly-appointed Steve Bruce will look to bring in another hitman even after the Joelinton deal is concluded.

Attacking reinforcements are clearly high on the agenda for the former Sheffield Wednesday boss and the addition of Joelinton, who chalked up 11 goals and nine assists for Die Kraichgauer last term, will add some serious firepower to a thin front line.

But what can the potential new signing offer? Here’s what those in the know have had to say about the Brazilian attacker.

Julian Nagelsmann, former Hoffenheim manager

Nagelsmann cites Joelinton’s loan spell with Rapid Vienna as a crucial part of the Alianca-born star’s development:

“Joelinton was always very talented, but he’s developed a lot during his time in Austria. He’s a big guy and is awkward to defend against. He’s very inquisitive and able to learn. He’s become a very good player – he’s a machine!”

At 22 years old the tall striker has plenty of room to grow and continue his development.

Should he hit the ground running in England, Mike Ashley could stand to make a sizeable profit further down the line.

Just one good season in the top flight is often enough to secure a big money move to one of the top clubs – see Aaron Wan-Bissaka – and Joelinton may well see St James’ Park as the perfect environment to hone his skills.

As Nagelsmann says, Joelinton makes life very difficult for opposition defenders and doesn’t have to be on the ball to do so, as his return of 1.3 tackles per game last season suggests he’s willing to press high up the pitch.

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Steffen Hofmann, former teammate

Retired Rapid Vienna midfielder Hofmann saw enough of Joelinton in their two years as teammates to be convinced that the youngster will go on to achieve greatness:

“We all knew about his potential at Rapid. He worked so hard for the team. Some said he didn’t score enough goals, but for us it was more important to have him in attack, holding the ball up, creating chances. He’s as strong as an ox and very good technically. If he keeps going as he is, he’ll be playing for Brazil before long.”

Indeed, the 6 foot 1 forward is as adept at creating chances for others as he is at scoring them himself, as evidenced by an impressive 1.5 key passes per game last season according to WhoScored, while his 1.7 dribbles per game also belie his size.

The presence of a striker who can bully defenders while also making good use of the ball at his feet will undoubtedly be an invaluable asset for Bruce to utilise next season.

Lutz Pfannenstiel, former Hoffenheim board member

The former goalkeeper was full of praise for the latest graduate of Hoffenheim’s Brazilian youth program:

“Now he is used to European football, he is unbelievable. He is as strong as an ox, good in the air and he holds the ball well. He is a modern target striker. Not just a big man up front to hit balls up to. He has this Brazilian flair too, he is technically neat, he can take players on, as well as being fast and physical. He has everything to be a top player.”

Having introduced stars such as Luiz Gustavo, Carlos Eduardo and, most notably, Roberto Firmino, the Bundesliga outfit have a knack for unearthing top South American talents and Joelinton promises to be the next success story, according to Pfannenstiel.

The 46-year-old, like Nagelsmann, sees the Newcastle target as an extremely well-rounded attacker.

The truly frightening aspect is that he hasn’t even reached the peak of his powers yet.

Where better for the rising star to reach his potential than in the Premier League, the same league that has provided the platform for Firmino to establish himself as a crucial player in one of the best teams in world football.

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