How Joelinton has become the face of Newcastle United's transformation both on and off the field under Eddie Howe

No one deserves more credit for Joelinton’s transformation at Newcastle United than the man himself.

By Joe Buck
Thursday, 10th March 2022, 3:00 pm

We didn’t know it then, but Ciaran Clark’s early dismissal against Norwich City would end up having huge long-term impacts on Newcastle United.

Following that game, fears of relegation were rife around St James’s Park. The team still hadn’t won a game and had seen a golden opportunity to register three points against one of their rivals slip by, again.

However, out of all the doom and gloom emerged Joelinton as a box-to-box midfielder, one that has never looked back since.

Joelinton has become the face of Newcastle United's transformation (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Joelinton’s constant running off-the-ball, his strength and ability to dispossess opponents, as well as being a good ball-carrier have complemented Eddie Howe’s style perfectly and the Brazilian is one of the first names on the team sheet.

It may be an unfamiliar role to the one he played during his first two years at the club, however, as he revealed to iNews this week, he believes his current role suits his strengths:

“I’m very passionate when I play the game and playing midfield in the Premier League is a different type of joy to being a striker. I like to play the game hard and maybe it suits me. I won’t back down from a challenge.”

As mentioned, Joelinton arrived at Newcastle as a £40million striker and was asked to lead the line under Steve Bruce.

Joelinton celebrates after scoring during the Premier League match between Brentford and Newcastle United (Photo by Luke Walker/Getty Images)

It was a role that the 25-year-old was ill-equipped to deal with, leading to him being relieved of the No.9. shirt at the beginning of the campaign.

This move seemed to alleviate the pressure on him and he has been a revelation since that night in November.

There have been a fair few to choose from, but arguably his best performance came just after Christmas against Manchester United.

Joelinton dominated the midfield on that night and post-match, Sean Longstaff revealed that his work in training means it wasn’t a surprise to see him put in such a dominating display:

"We know how good Joelinton is and the disrespect he gets is a disgrace,” Longstaff told Sky Sports.

“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.

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

The Joelinton we see on-the-pitch now is the product of this hard work off the field. Graeme Jones even admitted as much after the game with Crystal Palace in October - a game that took place before his transformation into the player we know now.

“Boys I’m telling you,” Jones said, “Joelinton has been excellent these last few weeks, excellent.”

You could describe him as a cult-hero, but that tag doesn’t do Joelinton’s performances justice. There’s little arguing that he has become one of the Premier League’s most consistent performers and one of the stars of Newcastle’s resurgence.

“We don’t demand a team that wins, we demand a club that tries” is the motto adopted by Newcastle supporters - and Joelinton is the very epitome of this mantra.

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