Newcastle have broken their club-record transfer fee to sign Hoffenheim forward Joelinton for £40m, two weeks before the new Premier League season begins on August 9.
Joelinton has signed a six-year deal until the summer of 2025 and also becomes Hoffenheim’s club-record departure, eclipsing the £29m Liverpool paid for Roberto Firmino in 2015.
Donning the illustrious number nine shirt on Tyneside, there will be pressure on his shoulders to perform – something he has no illusions over.
As quoted by the club’s official website, he said: “I’m really happy to be here, I know it’s a large investment the club has made in me and that comes with huge responsibility. I’m highly motivated and hope to give back on the pitch.”
Joelinton scored eleven goals and created nine assists in 35 games (all comps) for Hoffenheim last season, as they ultimately finished three points off a European place in ninth place.
Meanwhile his new boss Steve Bruce is excited by the new purchase’s potential and lauded the Brazilian’s determination to succeed, saying: “The kid’s got an exciting time ahead of him, he’s a smashing player and we’re obviously delighted to get him. It’s [negotiations] been going on for a little bit now, so to get him is great for everybody.”
He’s got everything a modern-day player wants: big, strong, athletic and has age on his side which is vitally important. Learning the history, he wanted it [the number nine shirt], and that’s always a big shirt to fill. But in his eyes, it was ‘bring it on – it’s what I’m here for’.
He’s risen to that challenge, and I’m sure he will be a big, big favourite of the supporters. With an incredible work-rate and really good humility as well as all the attributes a top striker needs.”
Newcastle’s troubles subside with bold move
Under-fire club owner Mike Ashley has finally responded to supporter pleas to splash money on quality acquisitions and dipped into the Bundesliga market for the Magpies’ first deal of the summer.
He has overseen significant departures already in recent months, including their failure during negotiations for a new deal with Rafael Benitez and a £30m sale of Ayoze Perez to league rivals Leicester last month.
Since then, it emerged they were not exercising their option to pursue a move for leading centre-forward Salomon Rondon on a permanent basis this summer. Instead, he has once again linked up with Benitez on a lucrative £250,000pw deal at Chinese side Dalian Yifang.
Joselu and Mohamed Diame are among their first-team players to have already departed since the 2018/19 campaign concluded in mid-May and you could excuse supporters for a lack of enthusiasm ahead of the new season when Bruce was formally appointed as Benitez’s successor last week on July 17.
It’s always difficult to lead such a successful manager, not least the fan favourite Rafa quickly became on Tyneside but Bruce’s qualities have often been questioned at the highest level and the fact he previously managed local rivals Sunderland doesn’t make things any easier for him at St James Park going forward.
Time will tell as Joelinton is already a quality player with endless potential, though Newcastle would be fooling themselves into a false sense of security by assuming one signing was enough to equip them for the forthcoming campaign.