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The £40m move Newcastle United can afford to make as return of ‘mentality monster’ gets closer

Newcastle United risked life without Joelinton just a couple of months ago, now they look like a team that can’t do without him.

The £40million man’s absence has hurt the Magpies since the turn of the year but with a new contract signed and his future determined, it’s now time to get value from that deal back on the pitch. True, they have stayed in the race for Europe and still look good for a place in either the Europa League or Europa Conference League but how narrower could that gap be between Eddie Howe’s team and the top four with a fit and firing Joelinton in it?

It can’t be just down to one player of course, not least a player that Newcastle fans would have happily waved off had he quit after a torrid first season as a centre-forward for the Magpies. But since his conversion from consistently inconsistent striker to midfield enforcer, Howe has a player that shows his team-mates the way forward and is the standard bearer for the black and whites.

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Joelinton was always pencilled in for a May return and if it is against Sheffield United at the weekend, there’s a safe bet that his first tackle will be roared warmly by a full house at St James’ Park. Bruno Guimaraes certainly looks chirpier with Joelinton by his side, and the ex-Hoffenheim star also brings the best out of the engine room around him.

The facts of the matter are, Newcastle were lacking what Jurgen Klopp once described as “mentality monsters” during the 2-0 loss to Crystal Palace. It was an off night but the scary thing is that the margin of victory could have been even greater.

Context is needed here for Newcastle as they look to move on quickly from their 10th away defeat of the campaign. Howe said afterwards: “Crystal Palace played well and made it difficult for us, but usually we’re better technically than that, and that was the big area of our game that disappointed me. We gave the ball away too much.”

Newcastle certainly did give the ball away too much but they struggled to win it back too. That’s where Joelinton will come in for Howe in the final few games of the season.

Statistcially with Joelinton in the team this season, Newcastle win more games in the Premier League. Without him they have won just six from 13 matches. His return can’t come quick enough for both the fans and Howe himself.

View news Source: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/40m-move-newcastle-united-can-29058871

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