Darren Bent has come to the defence of Newcastle United striker Joelinton, insisting the stick the Brazilian gets is unfair.
The 24-year-old has again struggled for the Magpies this season, and has scored just three goals in 27 appearances.
His total record for Newcastle is seven goals in 71 appearances, which, for a player costing £40 million (BBC Sport), is a dreadful return.
His price tag was never his fault, of course, but the South American has left a lot to be desired.
But in the eyes of Bent, Joelinton does get an overly rough ride.
He said on talkSPORT yesterday morning (quoted by Shields Gazette): “He does work really hard, and it’s a bit unfair (giving him stick)… they’ve signed him for a lot of money, and people knew before he got there that he’s not a regular goalscorer – he wasn’t prolific at all.
“But people still judge him because of the price tag, and he does work really hard and put a shift in.
“He has been better of late, but if people were expecting him to get 10/15 goals (this season) it was never going to happen, because he wasn’t doing that before he got there.”
Joelinton has had ample time
Bent’s defence is lazy.
Working hard simply isn’t reason enough for Joelinton to avoid getting stick.
Working hard should be a staple of any player who joins the football club.
The fact of the matter is, Joelinton needs to be more ruthless and better in his decision-making in the final third, especially in the absence of Callum Wilson.
If there is no upturn in his output in terms of goals and assists between now and the end of the season, he surely needs transfer-listing.