Eddie Howe knew what the public was telling him he was getting in Joelinton when he came over at Newcastle United. A misfit worth £40 million. A striker whose goal total was zero. The only Brazilian who’d demonstrated he couldn’t play football.

In the span of just one training session, Howe had come to a decisive conclusion. While Joelinton may have lacked confidence after his move from Hoffenheim to Newcastle, and he was facing difficulties as a number nine, Howe saw something different. Deep within the South American player, he believed there was a world-class talent waiting to break through.

“I always recall my initial training session with him,” reflected Howe, following this week’s announcement of Joelinton’s new long-term contract at Tyneside. “After that first training session, I genuinely believed, ‘What a player he is.’


Eddie Howe on Newcastle United transfer and Burnley finale in press  conference - Chronicle Live


“That immediately led me to wonder why his time here hadn’t been successful. It was evident right away that he possessed immense talent, although I was aware upon arrival that things hadn’t gone smoothly for him.”

That’s quite the understatement, but within just two weeks of Howe taking charge, Joelinton’s Newcastle career was about to undergo a dramatic transformation. However, it wasn’t a change that was intentionally orchestrated.

During Howe’s first home game in the St James’ Park dugout, as the Magpies faced relegation rivals Norwich, Ciaran Clark received a red card, prompting a significant tactical reshuffle. With the need to reinforce the midfield, Joelinton stepped up to the task. From there, the 27-year-old transformed from a struggling striker to an international-class box-to-box midfielder, rewriting the history books.

“I’m not going to rewrite history or claim to have foreseen his transition to a midfielder from the outset,” admitted Howe, who remains optimistic about Joelinton’s return from a thigh injury before the season’s end. “We stumbled upon that, and since then, he has seized the opportunity to excel in that role superbly.”

“He’s looked like a natural midfielder from the moment he stepped into that position. While he had previously played in a deeper role at other clubs, it was more as a number one. Transitioning to midfield involves a significant positional change because the defensive responsibilities are entirely different from playing as a number ten.

“His defensive attributes have been just as impressive as his attacking ones, which is why he’s become the all-round midfielder he is today. He deserves immense credit for that transition. It’s not an easy feat, but he’s executed it brilliantly.”



This week’s contractual developments were thus seen as significant news. Before signing his new deal, Joelinton was entering the final 12 months of his contract, casting doubt on his future at Tyneside. If there was a risk of losing one of their prized assets for nothing next summer, Newcastle would likely have felt compelled to sell.

Instead, they have secured the long-term services of one of their key performers, signaling that, despite the ongoing challenges of financial regulations in the Premier League, Newcastle remains a club pushing forward in the present and building for a successful future.

“It certainly boosts us,” Howe commented. “It enhances the perception of our ambition and demonstrates our desire to grow and improve. Retaining your best players and creating an environment everyone wants to be part of are essential for long-term success.”

This new deal also underscores the esteem in which Joelinton is now held. It elevates the remodelled midfielder to one of the highest-paid players in Newcastle’s squad and represents a significant increase from the initially agreed wage levels when he arrived from the Bundesliga.

While increasing Joelinton’s salary may limit spending elsewhere this summer due to Premier League financial regulations, Howe believes it’s a price worth paying. The prospect of having to replace Joelinton is far more daunting than the financial implications of keeping him in the Northeast.

“I’ve said this about many of our players,” Howe remarked. “They’re not easy to replace. Joe would certainly fall into that category. Standing at 6ft 3in, versatile in different positions, strong, quick, and with a knack for scoring goals, he’s a rare talent. Players like him aren’t readily available. That’s why it’s crucial to cherish the talented individuals we have.

“Of course, this decision will have consequences. Increasing wages impacts our financial balance. However, the alternative—allowing Joe to leave on a free transfer, given his quality—would be poor business for us. What we’ve done here has averted that problem. Nonetheless, it may create issues elsewhere that need addressing.”

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