Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce has heaped praise on Joelinton and dropped a hint that he could play this weekend against West Brom.

The Magpies have seen their preparations for this weekend’s game hit after a Covid-19 outbreak.

As a result, Bruce couldn’t confirm which members of his squad would be available this weekend.

He did, however, drop a suggestion that his £40 million striker would be available to play, after confirming he’s been happy with his recent form.

He told The Chronicle: “In Joe, I’m delighted for him.

“He’s found it difficult, there’s no excusing that, but he’s tried, worked hard, dug deep at times and never shirked the responsibility, so you want him to continue.

West Ham United v Newcastle United - Premier League
(Photo; Michael Regan; Getty Images)

“I think it helps to have someone like Callum alongside him to play off him or to the side of him, and not be the actual focus or target man at the top of it.

“He’s done very, very well of late. Let’s hope that continues.”

 

Joelinton scored four goals and registered four assists last season in 44 appearances, enduring a difficult maiden season in England.

Bruce seems happy with his talisman though and it’ll be interesting to see how he progresses.

What next for Joelinton?

Well, on the face of Bruce’s comments it sounds as though the striker’s struggles aren’t down to a lack of trying.

Perhaps signing Wilson was the best thing to happen for Joelinton, with the burden now eased on the 24-year-old.

Prior to the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace last time out, the £86,000-a-week player hadn’t weighed in with a goal contribution in the Premier League.

Newcastle United v Blackburn Rovers - Carabao Cup Second Round
(Photo; Serena Taylor; Newcastle United; Getty Images)

He bagged one and set up the other at Selhurst Park and the challenge is to use that as a turning point.

Joelinton is a long way off living up to his £40 million price tag and all he can do is continue working hard.

If he does that and starts to take a few more of his chances, he could yet become a hit with the St James’ Park faithful.

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