14 Aug 1996
A club record signing, Joelinton Cassio Apolinário de Lira joined Newcastle United from Hoffenheim in the Summer of 2019. Whilst the fee was not declared by either the buying or selling club it is believed to be in the region of £30m initial payment, rising to a potential £40m depending on a number of criteria and future club performance. At the time of signing the club, as ever, was in a true state of flux having just lost Rafa Benitez to the disappointment of the players and fans alike. With Rafa gone, taking Rondon with him to China it was left for Steve Bruce to fill the void. He, more than anyone, was certainly delighted with the Brazilian who would go on to spearhead his new look attack.
History would not be kind on Steve Bruce's time at the club, with a dire brand of football (if there ever was a brand) and a lack of development or identity for the squad or individuals players eventually leading to him being relieved of his duties following the long awaited takeover of the club by the Saudi PIF, Staveley and Reuben brothers consortium. Perhaps no one suffered more on the playing side than Joelinton under Bruce, with the player receiving criticism form all quarters of the media and even sections of the supporters.
His demeanour on and off the pitch was unwavering however and when Eddie Howe arrived his fortunes at the Newcastle United would be transformed in the most unlikely of circumstances. A home game at against Norwich would see Ciaran Clark sent off for the Magpies after just 9 minutes, with Howe opting to drop Joelinton back from his attacking position into midfield to help his team cope.
The rest, as the say, is history.
A monumental performance that day would see United's manager and coaching staff identify the player as a linchpin in their system for the remainder of the season. Joelinton's physicality, willingness to run and harry, composure on the ball all being key attributes in Howe's transformation of the player into something of a midfield general. Like a Phoenix from the flames, Joelinton's career was resurrected and the weight and burden of his huge transfer fee finally lifted.
Now a firm fans favourite the future in black and white looked positive for the Brazilian for many seasons to come.