Alan Shearer has stressed that Newcastle United need their new signing Joelinton to hit the ground running at St James’ Park.
The Magpies spent a club record £40million (BBC) this summer on the centre-forward and he’s set for his first crack of the Premier League.
He’s a Brazilian striker that managed 11 goals and nine assists last season in Germany for Hoffenheim during just 35 games across all competitions.
The 22-year-old is a powerhouse that has looked good in pre-season since joining up with Steve Bruce’s team and all focus is now on the first league match of the campaign at home to Arsenal on Sunday.
Newcastle legend Shearer is backing his former side to have enough to avoid relegation this term, but knows that a lot will rest on how quickly their new striker settles.
“This season? Well, I am still confident we will have enough to stay up, but I just think there is a lot resting on Joelinton’s shoulders because, straightaway, he is the player the team needs to score goals,” Shearer told BBC Sport.
“The players who scored most of them for us last season – Salomon Rondon and Ayoze Perez – have both gone now, so it is really down to him.
“That is not me trying to make life more difficult for him by putting pressure on him, it is just a matter of fact – he needs to hit the ground running.”
Joelinton appears to have all the attributes to be successful in England with his pace, power and work-rate, but life will become very difficult for him if he can’t get off the mark early in the new season.
Newcastle need the South American to get some early confidence with a goal and that will get the supporters right behind him.
It may very much have to be a team effort though when it comes to scoring goals, which means the likes of Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin will have to chip in.
Bruce’s main objective has to keep the team away from relegation trouble this campaign, but perhaps they can start looking up the table if some of their new signings click.