sport news Joelinton is the WORST transfer in recent Premier League history

It was put to Steve Bruce ahead of Tuesday's FA Cup tie at West Brom that Joelinton may not score another Premier League goal this season yet could still emerge as a Cup hero.

The Newcastle boss, skilfully, replied: 'Your words, not mine.' To welcome such a scenario would have been asking for trouble, and Bruce knew it.

For £40million club-record signings are not brought in to nick the odd Cup goal against lower-league opponents.

Newcastle have as yet failed to see a return on the £40million they spent on striker Joelinton

Newcastle have as yet failed to see a return on the £40million they spent on striker Joelinton

The Brazilian No 9 hasn't found any form since joining Newcastle in July last year

The Brazilian No 9 hasn't found any form since joining Newcastle in July last year

But, over the course of six months, that is all Joelinton has to his name - the fourth goal in a 4-1 victory over League One Rochdale and another in a 3-2 win at Oxford, also of the third tier.

Against Premier League opponents, meanwhile, he has gone 33 hours and 44 minutes without netting. Four more barren games and that will be £1million for every scoreless hour.

You cannot even blame the player anymore, it's gone past that. Rather, he simply should not have been bought in the first place, and especially not at such great expense, a fee almost double that of anything Newcastle had ever paid previously. It has been a staggering misjudgment.

Joelinton celebrates with Newcastle boss Steve Bruce after scoring against Rochdale

Joelinton celebrates with Newcastle boss Steve Bruce after scoring against Rochdale

But even Bruce now can't say much more than to state Joelinton 'is not a natural goalscorer'

But even Bruce now can't say much more than to state Joelinton 'is not a natural goalscorer'

JOELINTON'S NEWCASTLE STATS 

Games played: 32 

Goals scored: 3

Assists: 3

So who is to blame? Steve Nickson was the chief scout lauded with doing the spade work at the time of the Brazilian's arrival, watching him close to 30 times for German club Hoffenheim.

Mike Ashley signed the cheque and even made a rare visit to Tyneside to meet the player, later declaring he would have put in £20m of his own money to get the deal done, so excited were they about his potential.

Lee Charnley was the managing director who recommended to Ashley the deal should be done on the say-so of Nickson and his scouting team, for they had left no stone unturned.

And Steve Bruce was the manager parachuted into the club in July who claimed he had signed off on the transfer and insisted Joelinton was his acquisition. It was not, of course. He was coming in regardless. Bruce was left in a difficult position and, in hindsight, was naive to take ownership.

Lee Charnley (right) recommended to Mike Ashley that a deal for Joelinton should be done

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