The renaissance of Joelinton in a Newcastle shirt is a sight to behold.
The Brazilian looks revitalised since the arrival of Eddie Howe, and it continued against Norwich.
He was asked to play a different role on Tuesday night after the idiotic red card for Ciaran Clark. Joelinton went from playing up front to joining Joe Willock and Jonjo Shelvey in a narrow three-man midfield.
It was a completely new position for Joelinton, who had a lot of responsibility in the middle of the pitch. While it was a narrow trio, Joelinton and Willock were entrusted with covering the full-backs as well.
As you can see from his heatmap below, Joelinton covered so much ground. He basically played as a right-back at times, doing his best to protect Javi Manquillo.
And Joelinton’s performances was reminiscent of a former Magpie.
Joelinton becomes prime Mo Diame
While Joelinton was signed to score and create goals, on Tuesday night he became an enforcer.
He was a tackling machine in midfield, and played just like former Toon star Mo Diame.
The Senegal international was signed by Rafa Benitez in 2016 ahead of the Championship campaign. However, it was the Premier League where Diame came into his own.
He was initially brought in as an attacking midfielder, but became known for his defensive work. Diame would become a key player for Benitez, forming an excellent partnership with Shelvey in the 2017/18 season.
While Joelinton isn’t becoming the ‘next Diame’, he matched his physicality and desire last night. He made tackle after tackle and ran himself into the ground.
Joelinton’s Diame-like performance was excellent, but on Saturday we need a Shearer-like showing.