Newcastle manager Steve Bruce has admitted that big-money summer striker Joelinton must improve his performances and score goals after another laboured display against Arsenal.
The Brazilian was again ineffective in the Magpies' heavy 4-0 defeat at the Emirates Stadium, a result which has seen Bruce's side drop down to 13th in the Premier League table, just seven points above the relegation zone.
Newcastle had their chances against the Gunners - taking ten shots in total - but registered just two shot on targets, with Joelinton often found wanting positionally.
That lack of on-field intelligence, as well as his abysmal record of just one Premier League goal, has now led Bruce to publicly criticise his performance levels, with the former Sunderland boss admitting that things must improve.
"Joelinton has got to learn and improve. He has to be in the box more often," Bruce said after the game, as quoted by The Chronicle.
"We have to keep reminding him to get in the box and be more selfish. Strikers are judged on goals. He played well, led the line well but he’s got one goal all season in Premier League."
Joelinton is not the only one guilty of profligacy in front of goal for the Magpies, with Newcastle currently ranking equal-bottom of the goalscoring charts in the Premier League this season.
The Magpies have scored just 24 goals in the league so far - exactly half of which have been netted by defenders - and the lack of creativity up front has led to a backlash from large pockets of supporters.
But while the service up to Joelinton has been far from desirable, the 23-year-old has to take a significant portion of the blame himself, having scored just once despite taking 40 shots in the Premier League since the beginning of the campaign - starting 25 games in that time.
With the Brazilian well and truly out of form, Bruce may look to his bench for attacking reinforcements. However, Andy Carroll has suffered with injuries all season long, while Dwight Gayle and Yoshinori Muto have both failed to impress on Tyneside this term as well.
Source : 90min