Scout report: Newcastle’s club-record signing Joelinton

Following the departure of Rafa Benitez, a man admired by all in Tyneside, the Newcastle supporters have been mightily disappointed. That decision, coupled with the appointment of Steve Bruce, has soured an already toxic relationship between the support and Mike Ashley.

Despite their patent anger, Newcastle’s transfer business could help ease the toxicity.

And the club’s decision to break their transfer record for the second time this year in a £40m deal for Joelinton has at least provided a slither of optimism for fans to desperately latch on to.

But who is the recently signed Newcastle striker?

Here’s everything you need to know about Joelinton.

Background

Born in Aliança, Brazil, Joelinton is a 22-year-old striker who joined Hoffenheim from Sport Recife in 2015.

After landing in Europe the Brazilian forward then spent a couple of seasons on loan with Austrian side, Rapid Wien. During his time in Austria, the striker amassed 79 appearances, scoring 21 goals and providing nine assists in the process – a respectable if not relatively modest return for a striker plying his trade away from one of Europe’s most competitive leagues.

Last season denoted his first full campaign in Germany’s top-flight, and he is yet to attain an international cap for Brazil.

What are his attributes?

The 22-year-old is most proficient when deployed as a striker, where he has made most of his appearances during his career.

That said, the Brazilian can play in a multitude of his positions. Throughout his club career, Joelinton has played in five different positions, including both flanks and attacking midfield.

When watching the forward play, the Brazilian’s proficiency inside the penalty area is apparent. He’s capable of finishing with either foot or with his head. As a product of his versatility, he’s willing to drop deep to retain possession, and he can create meaningful opportunities with his noticeable passing quality.

When dribbling with the ball, Joelinton is powerful, purposeful and direct, which often renders defenders incapable of stopping him. As expected of his Brazilian heritage, the forward is a skilful and creative player who can combine with teammates effectively in attack.

At times, his first touch is too heavy, but generally he has the flair and the necessary skill to compose himself and evade defenders.

His pace and power would be well attuned to the Premier League’s gruelling physical demands and its frantic tempo.

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2018/19 in numbers

Joelinton enjoyed an impressive inaugural season in the Bundesliga having averaged a goal contribution every two games. In 28 league outings, the forward registered a commendable tally of 14 goal contributions (seven goals, seven assists).

He also impressed in other competitions for Hoffenheim by scoring in the Champions League against Lyon, while also scoring a hat-trick against 1.FC Kaiserslautern in the German cup.

In total, the 22-year-old contributed towards 20 goals (11 goals, nine assists) in 35 appearances in all competitions. Newcastle supporters would rightfully be delighted if the striker emulates those numbers during his maiden Premier League campaign.

Following a familiar path?

The most famous and successful Hoffenheim export to the Premier League has been Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino.

A fellow Brazilian forward like Joelinton, Firmino enjoyed a tremendous spell in Germany with Hoffenheim. In 185 appearances for the German side, Firmino contributed towards a mightily imposing total of 85 goals (49 scored, 39 assists).

The 27-year-old has bettered his game and statistical output at Liverpool, contributing towards 113 goals – 67 goals and 47 assists – in 192 games. The Newcastle faithful will be ecstatic if their signing can attain a fraction of the success that Firmino has enjoyed in England’s top-flight.

Gylfi Sigurdsson, Demba Ba and Havard Nordtveit are other notable figures who departed Hoffenheim for the Premier League.

Demba Ba enjoyed the most fruitful goal scoring spell of his Premier League career with the Toon.

He scored 29 goals in 58 games in all competitions in the iconic black and white shirt and his prolific return made him a revered figure on the terraces at St James’ Park.

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