Steve Bruce has revealed that there could be a change in tactics for in upcoming month due to the injury of Allan Saint-Maximin.
According to a report in The Chronicle, the Magpies is thinking about playing Joelinton in his position, while presumably, Andy Carroll would play through the middle.
French winger Saint-Maximin has been ruled out until the new year with a hamstring injury sustained in the 96th minute of their 2-1 win against Southampton.
The head coach went onto add that the Brazillian actually spent a long time playing on the wing the Bundesliga.
Speaking in the pre-match press conference ahead of their trip to Turf Moor, he said: “It is something we are toying with.
“He has played half his career there at his previous club.
“He can play a different formation and it’s something we have up our sleeve if we need it.
“It might just give big Joe a lift as well.
“Sometimes a change of scenery, formation or position can stimulate you a bit.
“He is only a young lad and he’s got a big responsibility on his shoulders. We have to be patient.”
Where will we finish the season?
With Saint-Maximin being such a key attacking outlet for the team, Bruce will want to make sure that there are still goals within this team. They are fairly light in this position, especially with the injury of Matt Ritchie still looming over them.
Christian Atsu is the other obvious option, however, the Ghanian hasn’t had the greatest of seasons and has only made four starts, with a pretty low average rating of 6.41 – the 19th worst in the squad – according to WhoScored’s algorithm.
Bruce could be seeing this as an idea to try and work both Joelinton into the side as well as Andy Carroll, who has been in pretty good nick recently with two assists in two games. However, whether Joelinton has the crossing ability to play with Carroll remains to be seen.
Considering Atsu has three assists this season, he could be deemed as an appropriate replacement if they want better quality with their delivery. Also, even though Bruce argued that he played a lot of football on the flank in the Bundesliga, Transfermarkt’s stats suggest that he has only played 5 games as a right-winger – from which he has two assists – and one game on the left-wing.