Brazilian forward Joelinton says he is ready to step up to the challenge of honouring Newcastle’s number nine shirt following his club-record transfer from Hoffenheim.
The 22-year-old has signed a six-year deal at St James’ Park after leaving Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim in a deal reported to be worth up to £40million, smashing the club’s transfer record that previously stood at Miguel Almiron’s £20m.
Joelinton scored 11 goals in 35 appearances for the German club last season and becomes the first signing since Steve Bruce was appointed Newcastle boss last week. The new arrival will help to boost the Magpies’ attacking options after the departures of Ayoze Perez and Joselu, while Salomon Rondon’s loan move from West Brom wasn’t made permanent.
Joelinton knows he will carry a weight of expectation due to his transfer fee and being handed the famous number nine shirt, but he is ready to meet the challenge head on. “I know it (the number nine shirt) is a huge responsibility, the great Alan Shearer, the team’s biggest idol. I know it is a big responsibility, but I’m prepared,” the Brazilian said to NUFCTV.
“I know that everybody at the club has faith in me having brought me here today. I hope to contribute on the pitch. I’m happy and prepared. Rest assured there’ll be no shortage of desire and dedication to score lots of goals and honour the number nine shirt.”
Newcastle kick off their Premier League campaign at home to Arsenal on August 11 and the hosts are 3.75 outsiders to win. The draw is priced at 3.60 and the Gunners are 2.00 favourites to claim the spoils.