Today is a very special day for today is the anniversary of the birth of Newcastle United star Joelinton and on this holiest of days TalkSPORT’s Ally McCoist and Andy Townsend have shown the big man some love.

There aren’t many footballers who can boast the kind of rags to riches story that Joelinton can. Sure there are many who have fought their way up from non-league to play in the Premier League. Jamie Vardy being the poster boy for that kind of trail.

Joelinton’s story is pretty unique. Newcastle paid £40million to Hoffenheim and made him their most expensive signing of all time only to go and play him out of position for the longest time.

Newcastle United v Aston Villa - Premier League

Newcastle bought Joelinton to be a lone striker
Despite never actually being one, Newcastle brought Joelinton in as a striker. Even worse, they played him as a lone striker, so he had very little support when playing through the middle. It took a whole new manager and a fortuitous red card to unlock the real potential of Joelinton.

Since Eddie Howe moved the Brazilian into the midfield, Joelinton has never looked back. He’s gone from laughing stock to being one of the most popular figures at Newcastle, regarded as one of the best box-to-box midfielders in the Premier League and now a full-blown Brazil international. What a turnaround.

It’s a turnaround that obviously hasn’t gone unnoticed outside of Newcastle either with TalkSPORT pundits Ally McCoist and Andy Townsend discussing him this morning.

Ally: “Joelinton. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a transformation and turnaround as brilliant as his.”

Andy: “And doesn’t he seem like a right good lad?”
Ally: “Yes, and that’s why it makes me happy!”

Andy: “I’m sure Newcastle fans absolutely love him because when he first came through the door nobody was quite sure exactly what he was. Is he a right sider, was he up the middle, what was he? Now I’ll tell you what he is – Wherever you put him he puts a shift in, he gives you everything he’s got.”

Rangers v Celtic - Viaplay Cup Final

Eddie Howe called Joelinton an ‘incredible athlete’

Andy Townsend nailed it at the end there, he gives you everything he’s got. He never stops grafting for the side. After the 0-0 draw with Arsenal at the Emirates last season, Jonathan Pearce interviewed Eddie Howe for the BBC and mentioned a gut-busting run made by Joelinton near the end of the game which caused Howe to label him as an ‘incredible athlete’.
You only have to look at a photo of Joelinton when he signed for Newcastle compared to what he looks like now and ‘incredible athlete’ is exactly what comes to mind.

Happy birthday J7!

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