Joelinton is one of multiple Newcastle players who will be hoping to improve under Eddie Howe.
The Brazilian forward has had a tough time at St James’ Park since his 2019 move.
He became the club’s record signing, costing a rather overpriced £40million. Then he was given the famous number nine, despite not being much of a goalscorer.
To date, Joelinton has scored six Premier League goals. He’s also lost the number nine, handing it over to talisman Callum Wilson.
However, we have seen signs of life from the 25-year-old this season. No longer leading the line on his own, Joelinton has had a much bigger impact from the left wing.
But Howe’s reported tactical plan could see Joelinton central once again, and it could be the boost he needs to burst into life at St James’ Park.
Joelinton could shine centrally under Howe
According to the Chronicle, the Magpies have been working on Howe’s favoured 4-4-2 formation during training.
Newcastle have spent a lot of the season using a front two, but in a system that has five at the back.
Now the Magpies could have a traditional strike duo. The question is who partners Wilson up top.
Allan Saint-Maximin has played centrally a lot this season with varying degrees of success. But the Frenchman is naturally a winger, and could return to the flank on Saturday.
If Howe wants to deploy a more traditional strike duo then it’s a battle between Joelinton and Dwight Gayle to start alongside Wilson. And there’s only one winner there.
Joelinton has to be the one up front alongside Wilson. The pair have played together before and had success. It worked at home to Burnley and away to Crystal Palace last season.
While he isn’t a natural goalscorer, Joelinton has other qualities. He’s strong in the air and can bring others into the game.
Can Joelinton emulate Josh King?
If Howe does go with Joelinton and Wilson, the pair could replicate the success the latter had at Bournemouth with Josh King.
The pair worked brilliantly on the south coast. King played slightly deeper than Wilson, and was able to drift to the left at times.
King and Wilson combined wonderfully together, particularly in the 2018/19 season. Between them they scored 26 Premier League goals.
Joelinton can become Wilson’s new King if he gets the nod to start up front against Brentford.