Chris Waugh has been speaking on Pod on the Tyne about the long-term future of Joelinton under Eddie Howe at Newcastle United.
In what has been one of the turnarounds of the season, Joelinton continues to impress under Eddie Howe in a new central-midfield role, having been deployed either as a winger or striker previously during his time on Tyneside.
Is Joelinton now undroppable?
The Brazilian international was solid once again during the win against Aston Villa, with the club’s official Twitter account posting a video of his tackles, passes and work rate to highlight how great of a disruptor Joelinton has become over the last few months, however, Waugh has raised concerns over that becoming a long-term plan for Howe.
Waugh is unsure if Joelinton will have a long-term future in midfield for Newcastle.
He said: “Eddie Howe after the game said that basically, the last few weeks is not how he wants the team to play long-term, this is just what they’ve needed to do for now, but he wants them to become more progressive.
“I’m sure that Howe eventually would like to move to a midfield two. Can Joelinton play in a midfield two?
“He hasn’t yet done that, because obviously he’s been in a three, but the fact [is] that he’s playing so well in that position right now, and he was part of the reason why Villa’s midfield didn’t function.”
TIF Thoughts on Joelinton…
If someone had told Newcastle fans at the start of the season that their £40 million striker signing would become a midfielder leading the team in tackles, pressures and blocks (FBRef), it could be argued that very few, if any, would have believed them given Joelinton’s start to life on Tyneside.
However, that’s what has happened with Joelinton, who has become the engine and workhorse under Howe, with everything also running through the Brazilian, having racked up the most touches in the entire squad, so he’s definitely doing all he can to hold down his place under Howe, and even if the manager does eventually shift formation, Joelinton currently looks undroppable.