Gary Lineker asked about upcoming World Cup
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Newcastle have backed Joelinton to overcome the devastation of missing out on the Brazil squad for the Qatar World Cup. The 26-year-old had an outside chance of going to the tournament due to his incredible transformation under Magpies boss Eddie Howe.
But Brazil manager Tite has decided not to take Joelinton, instead naming one of the strongest squads that will go to Qatar. There is plenty of Premier League representation in the South American nation’s ranks, including Joelinton’s Newcastle team-mate Bruno Guimaraes.
Having excitedly celebrated Guimaraes’ inclusion, Newcastle’s official Twitter account dedicated a post to Joelinton. The Tyneside outfit, who are chasing Champions League qualification after an excellent start to the season, have urged the striker-turned-midfielder to overcome the setback.
“His time will come,” read a tweet from Newcastle’s Twitter page. It was accompanied by a picture of Joelinton looking frustrated.
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It always seemed unlikely that the former Hoffenheim star would be included, given he is yet to make his senior debut for Brazil. But he still harboured hopes of playing at the tournament due to his Premier League form.
Joelinton has enjoyed a remarkable resurgence under Howe, being converted from a goal-shy striker to an all-action, creative midfielder. He spoke recently about the first time the Newcastle head coach asked him to play in midfield – in a top-flight clash against Norwich last season.
The player said: “It was against Norwich at home, we’d started the game really well. Then in the ninth minute, our defender got sent off and Eddie put me back in the middle.
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“And he asked me to close down the middle there, the normal tactical part. I did very well, I played very well, I defended well, I attacked, I did everything the position asked of me, and because I was a player short, I was able to do well. But he already saw something in me about not being the number nine.
“The way I’d been playing for the last two years, he saw that I could give something more to the team by playing in other positions.
“And if you looked back to when he arrived, I never played in a number nine [position], I’ve played as a second striker, I’ve played on the wing, I’ve played as a 10. And then I started playing as an eight.”
Joelinton’s form has contributed to Newcastle’s excellent season. Howe’s side will definitely go into the World Cup break in the Champions League places, having climbed to third after losing just one of their first 14 matches.
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