Steve Bruce reveals what he's told Joelinton at Newcastle United
Steve Bruce’s backing Joelinton to be worth his weight in goals to Newcastle United.
The £40million summer signing has had a stuttering start to his career at St James’s Park.
Joelinton’s only Premier League strike so far came in the 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in late August, and the team has only scored four goals in total.
The striker, set to lead the line against Manchester United at St James’s Park on Sunday, has often been isolated up front, and he was bullied physically on his last home appearance.
Asked if he wanted to score goals badly enough, head coach Bruce said: “That's a good point. I think, when he played for Hoffenheim, he played towards the left a lot.
“I saw him play against Manchester City, and he played to the left, which a lot of the teams do.
“They're not actual wide players or wingers as such, they play on the left-hand side, and I think he got used to that role.
“Certainly he's aware – and we've made it clear to him – that we have to score more, so all the spotlight, of course, is on him and (Miguel) Almiron. But, as a team, we have to create more, and that's got to be the aim going forward.”
Joelinton has the physical attributes to play the No9 role, but fans have questioned his goalscoring record. The 22-year-old scored seven league goals for Hoffenheim last season.
Bruce, for his part, believes the issue is the service provided to Joelinton, who signed a six-year deal at Newcastle.
“He's only 22, and he's still learning the trade a little bit,” said Bruce. “I don't think we've created enough for him either – it's not as if he's missed chance after chance after chance. We haven't created enough for him, and that's got to be addressed going forward.”
Bruce also believes that Joelinton will adjust to the physicality of the Premier League – as he “enjoys” that side of the game.
“Listen, he plays that way too,” said Bruce. “He’s a big physical animal, isn't he? He enjoys that side of it – that's not going to be a problem.”