Former England international sees promise in Newcastle United striker despite lack of goals

Former England and Chelsea attacker Joe Cole thinks that a bit of work on the training pitch with goal-shy Newcastle United striker Joelinton could go a long way.

Monday, 2nd December 2019, 4:45 pm
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 25: Joelinton of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Newcastle United at Villa Park on November 25, 2019 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 25: Joelinton of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Newcastle United at Villa Park on November 25, 2019 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Cole, speaking to BT Sport after the Magpies’ 2-2 home draw with Premier League champions Manchester City, admits he sees promise in United’s frontline, even though they have managed just one goal between them in 14 top flight games.

"I am looking at Saint-Maximin and Joelinton. If you can get a hold of those strikers and say 'listen, in these situations when we get the ball, just go and put the brakes on, and find a pass’,” said Cole.

"I think there is a lot of growth in this team. The defence is settled, so you have that base. The front three, I think with a little bit of work on the training pitch, I think there is improvements to be made in this team.

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"I wouldn't be surprised to see this team finish comfortably in mid-table and then next season the excitement can grow for it again.

"I really like Newcastle."

After Kevin De Bruyne’s cracker seemingly secured the points for City, United skipper Jonjo Shelvey produced a bit of magic to rescue a point from the jaws of defeat for Steve Bruce’s Magpies.

And while Cole is impressed with Shelvey – he thinks the ex-Liverpool, Charlton and Swansea City man needs produce performances of that calibre much more often, to really realise his playing potential.

“He’s 27 now, he’s got great ability,” said Cole.

“He’s got long-range passing, short-range. If you look at his attributes, he’s got all the clubs in the bag and he is capable of doing this kind of thing against a world-class goalkeeper,” said Cole on BT Sport after the match on Saturday.

“You just want to see it more from Jonjo. I think he needs to show this more consistently.

“Look at Kevin De Bruyne, he’s done this multiple times now and Jonjo needs to do it more, he has got the ability.”

Newcastle United take on Sheffield United at Bramall Lane in the Premier League on Thursday night.