Joelinton's aerial threat was on full display for Newcastle against Arsenal

Joelinton of Newcastle United (9) jumps high to head the ball during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal FC at St. James Park on August 11, 2019 in Newcastle upon...

The summer Newcastle United signing won most of his aerial duels against the Gunners.

Joelinton of Newcastle United (9) jumps high to head the ball during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal FC at St. James Park on August 11, 2019 in Newcastle upon...

Joelinton has a lot of pressure on his shoulders at Newcastle United in the early stages of the season.

Signing up at St James' Park for a reported fee of £40m (BBC), his price tag will ensure expectations are high when it comes to delivering a return in the English Premier League.

Also wearing the legendary Alan Shearer's old number nine shirt, he's carrying the hopes and dreams of the Magpies support.

It's a support that are looking for inspiration on the pitch too after such a tumultuous summer off of it.

Can the Brazilian find his footing in England and give them something tangible to cheer about?

 

His competitive debut against Arsenal was largely uneventful. With Newcastle struggling to get into gear in an attacking sense and teammates like Miguel Almiron failing to make an impact, Joelinton looked a little isolated in the opposition half.

One aspect of his game was on full display in the 1-0 defeat though; his aerial ability.

The 22-year-old won eight of his 11 aerial duels across the 90 minutes, six of them in Arsenal territorty as the Magpies looked to advance up the pitch (WhoScored).

He showed no fear in challenging Unai Emery's defence and won more headers than all but one player in the entire division on the opening weekend. Only Christian Benteke came out on top in more aerial duels, although Joelinton's success rate was higher (WhoScored).

Joelinton of Newcastle United (9) heads the ball during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal FC at St. James Park on August 11, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United...

It bodes well for the striker in a physical league and it's a strength that Steve Bruce must quickly find a way to take advantage of.

Should his team play with more width? Can he find a way to ensure both Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron flank the striker?

Combinations between Joelinton and his teammates will take time to forge, but in the short term Newcastle should perhaps be quicker to let the player challenge for high passes forward or get more crosses into the box.

If others can anticipate second balls or link up with the new signing, it could be an effective and direct way to break through the opposition defensive lines.

Joelinton of Newcastle United in action during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal FC at St. James Park on August 11, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch