Newcastle United flop is underrated according to a major pundit

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John Barnes has taken the step of defending one of the worst strikers in England.

Newcastle United beat Sheffield United at the weekend, with Joelinton scoring only his second goal of the Premier League season against the Blades.

Barnes, though, believes that he remains an underrated figure.

The Brazilian cost the club a hefty fee of £40 million last summer but he has roundly failed to hit the ground running.

Indeed, he scored just once in the Premier League before the COVID-19 suspension, against Tottenham Hotspur.

But Barnes, a former England international, does not believe that Joelinton gets the credit he deserves for his all-round game, per Sky Sports via Chronicle Live.

He said: “I think Joelinton is similar to [Everton striker] Dominic Calvert-Lewin because every time I see him play, he’s working really hard, holding the ball up.

"He's not scoring goals but [he's] not really getting the credit he deserves because he’s doing so much for the team.

“I’m pleased he’s got that goal because he did come with a big reputation.”

GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…

This argument doesn’t really work.

Strikers are paid to score goals, and Joelinton hasn’t been doing that.

He did score twice in the FA Cup, but those goals came against Rochdale and Oxford United, and in the Premier League, he had to wait 10 months to score.

Joelinton clearly works hard, that much is true, but if he isn’t converting chances then he clearly isn’t doing his job well enough.

Spending £40m on him means Newcastle splashed £20m per Premier League goal.

Barnes is clearly being kind but, at the end of the day, the lumbering forward has been nothing short of absolutely abysmal at St James’ Park.

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