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Joelinton to Newcastle: Imminent Magpies signing backed to emulate Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino


Newcastle are set to complete their first signing of the summer this week with Joelinton joining from Hoffenheim.

The Brazilian youngster is in line to arrive at St James’ Park to fill the void left by Salomon Rondon, who left Newcastle at the end of his loan spell, and Ayoze Perez, who signed for Leicester earlier this month.

Doubts have been raised over Joelinton’s suitability for this role, given he will be required to score the goals that fire the Magpies to Premier League safety and only netted seven times in Germany’s Bundesliga last term.

Joelinton is expected to join Newcastle for a club-record fee
Getty – Contributor

The 22-year-old did hit double figures in all competitions (11 in 35), though he has never scored more than eight goals in a single league season in his entire career.

Starting at Sport Recife in 2014, Joelinton scored three league goals in two seasons before moving to Hoffenheim, who kept him in their reserves for a year.

He then joined Rapid Wien in Austria’s top division on a two-year loan, and after netting 15 goals during his temporary stay in Vienna, Hoffenheim brought him back for his first full Bungesliga season.

Newcastle have since come calling for Joelinton, but what will he bring to the Magpies?

talkSPORT were joined by South American football expert Tim Vickery, who revealed all as he gave the lowdown on the striker.

“I have very high hopes for Joelinton,” Vickery told Extra Time on Tuesday.

“Hoffenheim plucked him away [from Brazil] when he was a teenager, and he didn’t play very much over here.

“There was no real noise about him, but I happened to see one of his games in the Maracana. He came off the bench as a teenager and he went straight into the notebook; I thought he was terrific!

Joelinton: Scouting the striker set to smash Newcastle’s transfer record

“My first impression was: ‘that’s interesting, a tall centre-forward who is mobile and left-footed’.

“But he’s not – he’s right-footed, but he was so good on the left that was my original impression.

“[He is] good with both feet, mobile, and he’s got some physical presence about him. He’s been brought on nicely by Hoffenheim, who loaned him out to Rapid Wien first so he got regular first-team action there before coming back and having a really good season in the Bundesliga.

“Newcastle have just lost a big Venezuelan in Rondon… Joelinton doesn’t have quite the same physical presence as Rondon, but he is more mobile.

“I think there is a real player there… I really do.”

Vickery further believes Joelinton could follow in the footsteps of Roberto Firmino, the Liverpool star, by going from a Hoffenheim striker unknown in his homeland to an eventual Brazil international.

He continued: “Joelinton is not particularly well known in Brazil, a little like Roberto Firmino, who was a virtual unknown when he got into the Brazil side [in 2014] and moved to Liverpool [in 2015].

“But I think there is a chance if this move goes through and he starts [at Newcastle] all right, he could get himself in the Brazil squad.”

Firmino made his Brazil debut the year before joining Liverpool, and he has gone on to play 38 times for his country
Getty Images – Getty

Vickery finished by hinting at how well Joelinton will combine with one of Newcastle’s other South Americans – Paraguayan playmaker Miguel Almiron, who signed for the Magpies in January.

“You can see a lovely little South American combination there with the pace of Almiron and the penalty area nous and two-footed shooting of Joelinton,” he added.

“I would love this one [to happen]. Joelinton is a player who deserves the platform Newcastle can give him.”

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