Newcastle United’s Premier League campaign got off to a disappointing start with a 1-0 defeat against Arsenal at St James’ Park on Sunday.
However, Steve Bruce did get a chance to see some of his new signings in action. £40 million striker Joelinton was in the starting XI. The Brazilian wasn’t able to open his account for the Magpies, but he did show some flashes of quality.
Newcastle fans are yet to see the best of the 22-year-old. Joelinton himself certainly believes he has room to improve. As quoted by The Sun, the striker makes it clear that he views overcoming the language barrier as key to further development, saying “I need to learn English to improve my communication with other players. I think it is really important to speak the language so you can express yourself better. I like to chat to everybody and listen to those around me”.
The club clearly have faith that Joelinton can develop into the striker they need him to be. They demonstrated this belief by handing him the No. 9 shirt, previously worn by club legends such as Malcolm Macdonald, Les Ferdinand and Alan Shearer.
Joelinton is clearly aware of what the number represents. On the topic, the Brazilian said, “maybe if I score many goals, there won’t be so many questions about the No9 shirt. It has such importance as it has been worn by so many legends. It’s normal for people to talk about it and make comparisons, adding to the pressure, but I’m relaxed about it”.
The fact that Joelinton recognises the importance of breaking the language barrier is very important. It suggests that he is keen to communicate with his teammates on the pitch as much as possible. It also indicates that he is committed to spending his long-term future in England, with Newcastle.
The No. 9 shirt gives the new forward plenty to live up to. However, if he can fire the Magpies to Premier League safety this season that will represent a fine start to his time on Tyneside.