Joelinton scored two goals in Newcastle United’s 3-0 win against Norwich City at Carrow Road and Eddie Howe has used the club’s record signing in a variety of positions since taking charge.
After scoring two goals in Newcastle United’s 3-0 win over Norwich City, Eddie Howe joked that he wishes he had more players like Joelinton. However, the Newcastle United manager remains ‘open-minded’ about the Brazilian’s position.
Joelinton has recently been reborn as a combative, box-to-box midfielder under Howe, after previously being utilized as an attacking midfielder by the Newcastle manager. However, after Chris Wood was rested, the club’s record signing started Saturday’s game at Carrow Road up front for the first time since Howe was hired.
Howe made an in-game tactical alteration and pushed Joelinton out wide to the left wing instead played Allan Saint-Maximin through the middle after the 25-year-old received little change from Norwich’s defenders in the first half-hour.
Joelinton opened the scoring with a powerful strike in the 37th minute, and the elusive Brazilian doubled his side’s advantage right before the break after getting on the end of Jacob Murphy’s cross.
Joelinton was once highly chastised for not getting in the box enough because the number nine shirt weighed heavily on his shoulders, but the record signing now appears to be a different player whatever of the role he is given.
It would be surprising if Joelinton did not return to his deeper-lying midfield role against Liverpool on Saturday, although it is simple to see why Howe has never wanted to pigeonhole the 25-year-old.
“I’m very open-minded,” Howe told reporters. “I think Joe can play anywhere in those front positions and, obviously, as an attacking midfielder as well.
“I would never say that’s his position and where he’s going to stay. Today, he showed his versatility and the importance of his role in the team.
“He can play as a centre forward, he can play as a second striker, he can play wide and he can play as an eight so it’s great to have players like that. I wish I had a few more!”