The fascinating Joelinton transformation and why the Brazilian embodies the 'new' Newcastle United

Even Callum Wilson couldn’t hold back his delight for Joelinton.

By Joe Buck
Sunday, 5th June 2022, 12:00 pm

Wilson, who finished as United’s top-scorer last season, revealed Joelinton’s transformation into a box-to-box midfielder was his ‘moment of the season’:

“Moment of the season, I think, was probably Joelinton switching into midfield.” Wilson told NUFC TV.

“I feel that it was a turning point for him in his career and for him in his Newcastle career definitely. It helped the team massively, he’s been a great addition to the midfield, he’s solid and he looks more comfortable there.

Joelinton celebrates his goal against Brentford. (Photo by Luke Walker/Getty Images)

“He’s been our player of the season because of that. I definitely think that was the moment of the season.”

It was a moment 28 months in the making, but November 30, 2021 will be a date no Newcastle fan, or the man himself, will forget in a hurry.

He was a makeshift midfielder on that day but over six months on and Joelinton has become a staple of Eddie Howe’s midfield three.

His constant running, uncanny knack of being in the right place at the right time to press the opposition and general exemplary attitude on the field has made him a fan-favourite at St James’s Park. Barely a game goes by without Joelinton’s face appearing on a variety of brightly-coloured Hawaiian shirts.

Fans of Newcastle United pose for a photo wearing Joelinton shirts prior to the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal at St. James Park (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Just 12-months ago, fans wearing these shirts would have seemed derisive, now though, it’s a symbol of love between a fan base who has a new hero on their hands.

The motto: ‘We don’t demand a team that wins, we demand a club that tries’ has followed Newcastle around throughout the last decade and a half.

Now though, fans have a club that tries off the pitch and on the grass, they certainly have a team pulling their weight - none more so than Joelinton who, through sheer hard work, has got himself to this point.

Unafraid to shirk a challenge, even when his time at Newcastle looked like it had reached the point of no return, the Brazilian flipped the script, became a dominant midfielder and deservedly won Newcastle United’s Player of the Season.

Joelinton has been transformed under Eddie Howe (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Praise for Joelinton has come from all-directions this season with team mates, opposition and pundits alike:

“Every day in training he's the best player and if you get him on your team in training you're buzzing because you'll always win.” Sean Longstaff said after Joelinton’s dominant performance against Manchester United in December.

"He's shown since the manager came in what he's been like in training. Everyone at the club rates him so highly.”

West Ham’s Michail Antonio described Joelinton’s performance against the Hammers in February as ‘quality’ whilst Alan Shearer has said that the Brazilian deserves ‘a huge amount of credit’ for his transformation.

There are no guarantees in football, but with Joelinton, you can be certain that more hard-work will be done on the training pitch to increase his levels across the board next season.

If the Brazilian is able to lift his performances yet again to another level, then St James’s Park will undoubtedly see a few more Joelinton shirts being sported on the terraces next year.