Jamaal Lascelles reveals his verdict on Joelinton after facing him in training
Newcastle United’s new No9 Joelinton has got “everything”.
That’s the verdict of captain Jamaal Lascelles after facing the £40million striker in training.
Joelinton, signed from Hoffenheim last month, scored his first United goal in Tuesday night’s 3-1 win over Hibernian at Easter Road.
And the 22-year-old will make his first home appearance in this afternoon’s friendly against Saint-Etienne.
Lascelles is confident that the Brazilian can hit the ground running in the Premier League this season.
“His all-round frontman play is really good,” said Lascelles. “I’ve played against him in training a few times, and he’s a real handful. He’s a big boy, he’s fast, he’s fit, he’s got great feet and he can finish. That’s everything you want from a striker – and more.
“I’m very pleased he got on the scoresheet. It’ll be massive for his confidence. I think it’s a great bit of business.”
Lascelles and his team-mates are preparing for the August 11 season-opener against Arsenal at St James’s Park.
Newcastle’s players have had to quickly take on board the ideas of new head coach Steve Bruce, who succeeded Rafa Benitez at the club last month.
“The gaffer’s got us working really hard,” said Lascelles. “We’ve had to adapt, but we’ve done that and are getting fitter. We’re expressing ourselves a lot going forward. I think it gives a few players freedom. We’re getting Jonjo, in that holding role, on the ball with the wide wing-backs getting in behind. Miguel and Jo are causing problems up front.”
Lascelles was also on target against Hibs as United came from behind. The win had followed a defeat to Preston North End at Deepdale.
“We knew it was going to be a pretty similar game (to Preston) in terms of them being at it and pretty physical,” said the 25-year-old. “We conducted ourselves well, gave our all and showed our quality. I’m really pleased with the team.
“First 10-15 minutes we were a bit open. It took us a while to get a grasp of the game. We settled down and created a lot of chances. The big man (Joelinton) and Miguel (Almiron) were working well. We showed a bit of quality to get in behind.”