The one player this season that has caused much debate among the fan base is our 40 million record summer signing, Joelinton.
Scoring only 1 goal with 2 assists in a staggering 29 games in the league for Newcastle this season.
The debate has very much been one of 2 questions, Is Joelinton a striker? Is Joelinton getting enough service?
Both of these questions we've all been back and forth on as supporters. But maybe project restart could prove project catalyst for goal shy Joelinton?
The one thing that could play into Joelinton's hands going into the remaining 9 games is with these games remaining, no one in the stands means a lot less pressure. This could be the spark that finally gets Joelinton firing.
Not just less pressure but he has had some much needed rest from the weight of being the no 9 for Newcastle. He was starting to get left out of the starting eleven more often before the lockdown. The confidence was clearly not there at all. He's had a recharge of the batteries. He can comeback with a clean slate. 9 games in the league. An FA cup quarter final. Here's your chance, Jo!
There's even a case to be made in the behind closed doors friendlies recently. He's scored 2 goals in 2 games. Without that pressure he seems to be scoring. Not only that but being in the right place to score them goals. As one critique I have had of Joelinton is that he doesn't get in behind the defence enough. Or burst a run into the box. The rare times he has done this. He's been dangerous!!
Hopefully this recent bit of form in the build up matches is a kick of confidence he needs going into the first match back in the Premier League against Sheffield United…..
Joelinton is NOT a bad player. The talent is there. We have seen little glimpses of his quality. His finish against spurs, his brilliant hold up play for goals at Old Trafford and the Hawthorns. The talent is there! Time will tell if less pressure and a little bit of time away will embrace that confidence.
The football all starting up again is a massive boost to all of us in isolation. But could release the Joelinton we've all been waiting to see...............