Joelinton Transfer Raises More Questions Than Answers
Newcastle United announced the appointment of Steve Bruce as head coach on Wednesday morning. The news aroused ire in Geordies across the world, who could not believe the lack of ambition at the club. Yet, perhaps in a bid to soften this blow, Newcastle are now also ready to announce their first summer signing, Brazilian striker Joelinton for a club record fee. However, this is a move that would pose more questions than answers. What exactly does the transfer mean for Newcastle United?
Joelinton To Newcastle – A Transfer Raising More Questions Than Answers
Shades Of The McClaren Era
The appointment of Steve Bruce as manager left many Newcastles fan angry. The club had gone from having a Champion’s League-winning manager, to someone whose greatest successes come in the Championship. Indeed, such an uninspiring choice for manager brought memories of the last manager Newcastle stole from the second division, Steve McClaren. Michael Chopra claimed in a tweet that Steve Bruce would be a ‘yes man’ to Mike Ashley. Perhaps that is why they decided to pick the man who was reportedly their 11th choice to manage the club.
However, what is not clear is why Ashley is now prepared to part with as much as £48 million on one player. If he was not willing to give Rafael Benítez such funds, why would he even deign to do so with someone who was his 11th choice. Surely, if as Chopra claimed, Bruce were to be Ashley’s yes man, then he would not demand such an outlay. Could it be that Ashley was turned by the sight of 12,000 unsold season tickets?
This is only one signing, with just 21 days remaining in the window. But could we see a spending spree similar to that in the summer of 2015? That year, Ashley backed Steve McClaren with £48 million on 4 promising new first team players. That represents the fee for Joelinton alone, but football has changed since then. The move is reminiscent of Aleksandar Mitrović’s move that summer, which coincidentally happened around the same time. An unknown striker with promise, making the move to the Premier League. Hopefully the arrival of Joelinton does not spell the same fate for Newcastle.
Joelinton – Good Enough To Replace Pérez and Rondón?
The decision to sell Salomón Rondón and Ayoze Pérez contributed to Newcastle fans’ outrage this summer. Together, they were responsible for 55% of Newcastle’s Premier League goals last year (23 of 42). Joelinton scored 11 league goals as hoffenheim finished 9th in the Bundesliga, with a further 4 in other competitions. Though, hoffenheim, third top scores in the Bundesliga last year, are a much more creative force than Newcastle. So will Joelinton be able to contribute as much as with the German side?
It is also worth looking at the Brazilian’s style of play. Though strongly built, standing at 6ft 1ins tall, he is more slight than Salomón Rondón, and relies on technical ability more than physical prowess. Instead of using his body as a shield for the ball, á la Rondón, he tries to dribble around defenders. Whether or not this is effective under Bruce, a structured, defensive manager, remains to be seen. Can he replace Rondón and Pérez, and can Steve Bruce get the best out of him?
Takeover Dreams Dashed For Another Year?
The fact that Ashley gave the green-light to appoint Steve Bruce hinted that he would be sticking around at the club. Now, this move would seem to confirm that. Ashley would never part with so much money, breaking the club’s transfer record for the second time in 6 months, if he was planning on leaving. So now the question is whether or not he will continue to invest, or see this as enough to appease the angry Toon faithful.
It would make sense for him to continue the spending, especially if Newcastle allegedly have £90 million to spend. Failing to recognise the money needed to improve this squad will certainly see the side relegated come May. If he truly wishes the sell the club, and get £300 million for it, then Ashley needs it in the Premier League.
Why has Ashley chosen to spend now? Will the spending continue? Will this be a step in the right direction? The answers to these questions are under a month away.