Les Ferdinand watched Joelinton play during the Brazilian’s spell at Hoffenheim – and QPR’s director of football believes Newcastle United’s record signing is a ‘modern-day centre forward’ rather than a ‘traditional No 9′. Joelinton has mainly been used as a lone frontman in his first season at St James’ Park, which is a different role to the one he fulfilled at Hoffenheim and has scored just one league goal this season.
Les Ferdinand said “I kind of knew Joelinton before he went to Newcastle, Part of my job is to look at players around the world and although we couldn’t afford him, certain players come to light and I had done some stuff with Hoffenheim and I knew their director of football [Alexander Rosen] quite well and had spoken to him. I had seen Joelinton play on a few occasions. I don’t see him as a traditional No 9. When I’ve seen him play his best football, he’s what I call a modern day centre forward who can play left, right and through the centre. He actually prefers playing left and right than he does through the centre but when you’ve got someone of his ilk, stature and size, everyone expects him to be that No 9 in a traditional sense of what a No 9 used to be like at Newcastle United so I don’t know if that will change for him in him learning that position but to be a No 9 in the way that they want him to be a No 9, he needs to learn that position. I’m not quite sure that’s how he wants to play.”
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