Why Newcastle don't need to risk Joelinton against Everton - opinion
Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

Why Newcastle don't need to risk Joelinton against Everton - opinion

Joelinton might not return from injury against Everton according to Newcastle boss Eddie Howe.

The Magpies have been without the 25-year-old for the previous two games, with Joelinton completely missing the win at Southampton and the defeat to Chelsea.

It was hoped that he would return on Thursday night against Everton, but comments from Howe suggest that might not be the case.

Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

Speaking to the press ahead of the game at Goodison Park, Howe admitted that he will have to make a ‘late call’ regarding the Brazilian powerhouse.

“He is touch and go for this game,” Howe said.

“We have a decision to make. Whether we look after him with the break we have afterwards or whether we push him back out there – we’ll have to make a late call on that one.”

While Toon fans will be desperate to see Joelinton return, Howe has a good reason to delay his Newcastle comeback.

Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

Sean Longstaff performance should convince Howe to delay Joelinton return

The Magpies had a new look midfield at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, with Sean Longstaff starting alongside Bruno Guimaraes. The duo played as a midfield two, with Howe switching to a 5-4-1 formation for the game with the European champions.

Newcastle should have an extra midfield option to face Everton, with Joe Willock returning from illness. That makes it likely that Howe reverts back to a midfield three.

But that doesn’t mean he should rush Joelinton back.

Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

The defeat at Chelsea was Longstaff’s first start since the 1-1 draw with Watford in January. And Howe was full of praise for the local lad.

“After not playing for a period of time I thought he was excellent [against Chelsea],” Howe told the Chronicle.

“It’s testament to how he’s looked after himself physically that he was able to play the 90 minutes.”

With that in mind, Longstaff deserves to keep his place in the starting XI. He grew into the game at Stamford Bridge, and should start at Goodison Park.

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Longstaff’s performance means Howe doesn’t need to take a risk with Joelinton – a risk that could set him back further on the road to recovery.

It would be nice to see Joelinton on the bench in case of emergency. Newcastle will perhaps need a midfield option in reserve if Howe goes with a 4-3-3 formation.

But given his ‘excellent’ performance against Chelsea, Howe should stick with Longstaff rather than rushing Joelinton back.