If all goes according to plan, Joelinton will be Newcastle’s first signing of the summer. And he’ll become the most expensive player in the club’s history.
The longstanding record was broke by Miguel Almiron’s £21 million arrival in January, but a reported £36 million deal for Joelinton would blow that fee out of the water.
It’s a huge amount of money to spend on a player. It’s the kind of investment we’ve wanted from Mike Ashley. But that’s not the point. Just because he’s spending a bit of cash, fans should not give him another reprieve.
There seems to be a misconception in the media about our transfer budget. Everyone is talking about the massive amount of money that Steve Bruce will have to play with. But it’s no different to what Rafa Benitez was going to get. £60 million plus whatever is accumulated from player sales.
And if Benitez had stayed, he could’ve had Joelinton too. The Brazilian was a target long before Benitez departed, but he reportedly wanted the money to be spent elsewhere, maybe on a Venezuelan striker who fans loved and fit the system.
You can understand why the hierarchy would rather spend big on the younger Joelinton than the 29-year-old Salomon Rondon. The Hoffenheim forward is just 22, meaning he can potentially be sold in the future for even more money. As for Rondon, there’s no resale value in him.
But this is where business and football clash. Rondon was perfect. He suited the system, got the best out of the players around him, and you could trust him.
No one knows what to expect from Joelinton. If he doesn’t deliver, he’ll be branded a massive waste of money.
Benitez wanted control, whereas Steve Bruce seemingly isn’t bothered. It’s a bit of a slap in the face to Benitez that Ashley will sanction such a big deal for a player as soon as a new manager comes in. Sure he backed him on the Almiron deal, but that took an age to get over the line.
Benitez wasn’t asking for too much. He wanted certain players that would do a specific job in his team. Instead, we’ve now got a manager who will just be handed players and told to find a place for them.