Transfer Grade: Newcastle United Sign Striker Joelinton for Club Record £40m ($50M USD)

Written By Chops on July 24, 2019 - Last Updated on July 26, 2019

Who: Joelinton
From Where: Hoffenheim
To Where: Newcastle United
For How Much: £40 million ($50M USD)
Grade for Newcastle: C-
Grade for Hoffenheim: B

Joelinton to Newcastle United Overview

For the second time this year, Newcastle United have broken their transfer record.

In January, it was for instant-impact signing Miguel Almiron. Today, they broke the bank for Hoffenheim striker Joelinton.

It’s the first signing for new manager Steve Bruce. And while it’s an OK signing, it raises even more questions about what the hell Newcastle is doing.

Who is he?

Joelinton is a 22 year-old Brazilian striker. He came to Hoffenheim in 2015 but was loaned to Rapid Wien the next season.

Joelinton returned to Hoffenheim in 2018 and began to regularly feature for the squad. In 29 total appearances last campaign, he tallied a respectable 8 goals and 6 assists.

Like many elite Brazilians, he’s a strong dribbler and who can get into the attacking third. He’s got decent size (6’1) and does well to track back and contribute defensively.

Is the price fair?

Newcastle paid near market rate for Joelinton at $40m ($50M USD). Or better put, his transfermarkt value was around $40M, and in today’s market…🤷‍♂️

An obvious comprabale in value would be Sebastien Haller. West Ham nabbed him for £45 million. While Haller was overall more productive than Newcastle’s new #9 last year, Joelinton is younger with in theory more upside. Haller is closer to a finished product. If (big if) Joelinton ends up being successful, he could be sold at a decent profit down the road.

What impact should we expect?

Here’s the part where we crap on Newcastle a bit.

Rafa Benitez is a better manager than Steve Bruce. Don’t think anyone would argue otherwise. Reports emerged that Benitez didn’t think Joelinton was worth the price, that he preferred Salomon Rondon instead, and that might’ve been partly why he left Newcastle.

If that is true and accurate–that has to factor into how we view this transfer (more on that in the Grade section).

Anyway, as for Joelinton’s impact, new manager Steve Bruce clearly is a fan, saying:

“It’s been going on for a little bit now, so to get him is great for everybody. He’s got everything that a modern-day player wants. He’s big, strong and athletic, and of course he’s got age on his side too which is vitally important.”

Also, and this is important for a club like Newcastle:

“He’s learned the history and wanted [the No 9 shirt] … in his eyes, it was ‘bring it on – it’s what I’m here for’. I’m sure he will be a big favourite of the supporters. He’s got an incredible work rate, he’s got a really good humility about him, and all the attributes a top striker needs.”

Joelinton should be a productive player. He doesn’t have that “wow” factor that some elite prospects show, but he’s going to be a solid contributor.

Joelinton will be given every opportunity to shine. However, Newcastle sold Ayoze Perez and may ship out Sean Longstaff as well. So what is Newcastle doing? Building for a top 6 run? Selling their best assets? What kind of an impact can Joelinton have without supporting talent to get him the ball in positive situations?

Joelinton isn’t the type of creator who can make magic happen on his own. He needs support. If that support is gone, then what?

The Grades

Newcastle (C-): If Newcastle really lost Benitez in part due to this transfer, that has to impact the grade. I’d give this a “F” except I like Joelinton’s age and the fact that he seems bought in.

Hoffenheim (B): They got a little above market value for a player who will probably end up having more of a “good” than a “great” career. That’s a solid B.

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Chops is the executive producer of High Press Soccer. He's an unabashed Liverpool fan who will absolutely let that bias seep into his reporting and analysis.

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