Ex-Newcastle United striker signed for just £5m by Rafa Benitez handed shock Spain call-up

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Joselu was far from prolific on Tyneside, but his recent form in La Liga has earned him a call-up to the Spanish national team.

During two years on Tyneside, Joselu netted just seven times in 52 appearances for Newcastle. His £5million move from Stoke City in August 2017 was one of necessity from Rafa Benitez as the Magpies began the season as a newly-promoted side.

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He departed the club less than two years later, leaving just days before Steve Bruce was announced as Newcastle United manager in July 2019. Moving back to Spain, the striker has shone in La Liga, first with Alaves before moving to Espanyol this summer. During his three-and-a-half years in Spain, Joselu has netted 48 goals in the league, with 12 of those coming in just 22 appearances for Espanyol this season.

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This form has earned him a place in Luis de la Fuente’s first national squad. De la Fuente replaced Luis Enrique following Spain’s disappointing exit to Morocco at the Qatar World Cup.

Joselu has been named alongside attacking talents such as Dani Olmo, Mikel Oyarabal, Alvaro Morata and Iago Aspas for their games against Norway and Scotland in the forthcoming international break. Former Newcastle United midfielder and brief team mate of Joselu on Tyneside, Mikel Merino, has also been included in the squad.

Young Barcelona defender Alejandro Balde, who has been linked with a move to Newcastle amid growing financial issues at the Catalan club, has also been named in the squad. Fabian Ruiz, another player linked with a move to St James’ Park, has also been picked.