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Joelinton’s transformation: from £40m flop to fan favourite.

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

Taking a look at the Brazilian's impact on the team since his groundbreaking position change.

The performance of Joelinton on Saturday summed up the player he has become under Eddie Howe as he once again controlled the midfield and after heading home the opener, he then proceeded to run the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of the Newcastle fans as they chanted his name throughout the game, a sight that would’ve been hard to believe only 4 months ago.


Since Eddie Howe’s arrival at the club it seems every player has experienced a massive improvement, however Joelinton’s complete conversion into a box-to-box midfielder has been the biggest of all, the 25-year-old suits the role perfectly and looks like he has played there for years. Credit must be given to Howe for quickly recognising that the Brazilian would be perfect for the role, something that Steve Bruce failed to do in his time at the club. Having said that, Joelinton himself must be given the same, if not more, praise for his attitude and hard work to continue fighting for his place in the team after two unsuccessful years on Tyneside.


One thing that was perhaps not taken into account as much was moving to a foreign country by himself at a young age, whilst not being able to speak the language, would've been tough on him mentally and made it even harder for him to settle. After the Brentford game however, he delivered an interview to NUFC TV in English, really emphasising how far he’s come and how much he’s settled into life at Newcastle. In the interview he praised teammate and fellow Brazilian Bruno Guimarães and the impact of another Brazilian in the local area cannot be underestimated in helping each other settle down.


Perhaps that biggest turnaround in his play is the freedom and confidence he exudes when in midfield, this was summed up when he squared up to Dele Alli during the home win against Everton and his cheeky nutmeg on Marcus Rashford against Manchester United in December, the flair and skill on display was unfamiliar for Toon fans to see as he looked like a shadow of his former self. The pressure of arriving at Newcastle as the most expensive signing in history as well as taking the number 9 shirt showed in his early days as he frequently looked out of place, however since parting with the famous number 9 it seems to have helped lift a weight off his shoulders and allow him to play more freely without being expected to be the main goalscorer in the side.


Prior to Howe’s arrival, Joelinton was mocked by rival fans as well as some of his own but the midfield revelation has now well and truly made his critics eat their words as he is starting to finally prove his huge price tag. With the backing of the geordie nation and the direction the club is currently heading in, he could become a real club legend in the spine of Newcastle United Football Club.

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