The Brazilian forward has failed to match expectations since arriving on Tyneside with the £40m man having only scored three Premier League goals in his 61 appearances since signing (via Transfermarkt).
Discussing his signing, Lee admitted he wanted to see Nickson explain the thinking behind the deal.
He said: “First of all, I want to know who spent £40m on Joelinton. If it was Steve Nickson, then come out and hold your hands up and say, ‘Yeah, I sanctioned and put forward that deal’, but I’m sure he won’t.
“Secondly, the club should have made it clear from the beginning that he’s not a centre-forward and they could’ve done that by not giving him the number nine shirt.
“The minute he was given the number nine shirt he’s a centre-forward. He’s the club’s most expensive signing and with him being a forward player as well as the number nine, people instantly expect him to score 20-25 goals a season.”
Is Joelinton the PL's biggest ever flop?
The Brazilian has only managed to find the back of the net once in the Premier League this season despite having played over 1,500 minutes of football (via Transfermarkt).
TIF Thoughts on Joelinton…
As Lee alluded to, Joelinton did not spend his time in Germany playing as an out-and-out striker, therefore, when he was given the number nine shirt at Newcastle it could have unfairly raised expectations of the forward.
Looking at his career in the Bundesliga, the Brazilian predominantly played as a centre-forward and right-winger. Even in Newcastle’s most recent games without Callum Wilson, Joelinton has played out wide and showing signs of being more comfortable there, with manager Steve Bruce encouraged by his display against Aston Villa.