Newcastle manager Steve Bruce says they are starting to see the real Joelinton after the forward had a hand in two late goals in a win at Crystal Palace.
The Brazilian set up Callum Wilson for the first in the 88th minute and added his side’s second 99 seconds later.
It was his first Premier League goal of the season and a third in the top flight since joining Newcastle for a club record £40m in July last year.
“Sometimes you need time – it doesn’t matter about the price tag,” said Bruce.
“In Joe’s case, the price tag and number nine shirt meant he struggled at times.
“But the kid wants to do well. He had a lot of opportunities tonight but we are starting to see him now with his strength.”
The former Hoffenheim striker had gone 16 Premier League games without a goal or assist, before grabbing one of each in Friday’s victory, which moved Newcastle up to 10th in the table.
“There is no disputing that Joelinton has found it difficult,” added Bruce. “But I’ve said many times that some take a little more time than others. We’re delighted he’s scored a goal.”
Palace had looked more likely to break the deadlock and the visitors had goalkeeper Karl Darlow to thank for keeping them in the game.
He saved well from substitute Christian Benteke’s powerful header having earlier made a smart stop to keep out Jeffrey Schlupp’s angled left-footed effort, while Patrick van Aanholt fizzed a strike wide.
The result moves Newcastle up to 10th in the table, while Palace slip to 13th.
Joelinton’s hard work pays off
Bruce’s Newcastle side had failed to score in their previous two outings but looked far more expansive to start with in south London on Friday.
Joelinton managed four shots in the opening 20 minutes, as many as he had previously had in any game this season, and the best chance of the half fell to him before the break.
Sloppy defending by the hosts allowed the Brazilian to engineer a low effort on goal, but it was easily gathered by Guaita and the Magpies went in at the break having failed to score in the first half of 20 of their past 26 Premier League matches.
Newcastle looked set to make it three games in a row without a goal as they were increasingly pegged back, but the breakthrough did eventually come as Joelinton combined superbly with fellow forward Wilson.
His pass sent the England forward through on goal and Wilson slid an effort beneath Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita to open the scoring with two minutes remaining.
The 24-year-old then got the goal his hard work deserved moments later, beating Guaita with a left-footed effort after Wilson returned the favour with an assist.
Steve Bruce on #CRYNEW:
“I was delighted with the link-up play between the two of them [Wilson and Joelinton]. It’s all about those fine margins in this league and to get the result was the most important thing.” pic.twitter.com/Zmwv0ux5cj
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) November 27, 2020
Palace rue missed opportunities
Palace boss Roy Hodgson named a side with 2,068 Premier League appearances between them – the most for any team in a game this season – but experience could not be converted into goals at Selhurst Park.
The hosts were again without talisman Wilfried Zaha, self-isolating after a positive Covid test, and relied instead on the ingenuity of England Under-21 international Eberechi Eze as their creative outlet.
It was the 22-year-old who forced Darlow into his first save on 25 minutes and the Newcastle keeper was equal to everything Palace could muster after that.
The versatile Schlupp, playing as a centre-forward with recognised strikers Benteke and Michy Batshuayi among the substitutes, squeezed a pass into the path of strike partner Jordan Ayew after the break – but the Ghana international toe-poked wide.
Hodgson threw both his benched forwards on in search of a winner and Benteke fired wide and saw a good header saved, before left-back Van Aanholt had a chance to win it.
But Palace were then hit at the other end, and their struggles without Zaha continue, with this their 21st defeat from the 29 games he has missed since 2014.
However, they will be buoyed by the news that their next home match – against Tottenham on Sunday, 13 December – will see the return of 2,000 fans at Selhurst Park.
‘I thought it was going to cost us’
Newcastle manager Bruce, speaking to BBC Sport: “Both teams find it difficult to score a goal and we were looking for that little bit of quality. We weren’t clinical enough and I thought it was going to cost us, but then we got it for the goals.
“Callum [Wilson] is a goalscorer and he has that instinct. That’s his seventh goal now and that’s a tremendous return.”
Crystal Palace boss Hodgson: “All defeats hurt and this one did as we didn’t play well. I didn’t think we were going to lose; I didn’t think we would win it either. So to lose it is a bitter blow. Congratulations to Newcastle on winning it.
“I would credit the whole Newcastle team. The keeper played his part but I think it is too simplistic to say we didn’t win because of their goalkeeper. We didn’t create enough.”
Wilson key to Newcastle attack – the stats
Newcastle have won five of their past nine away Premier League games in London, after a run of three wins in 24 matches.
Since the start of the 2017-18 season, Crystal Palace have failed to score in 45 Premier League games, more than any other club.
Palace have lost their past seven Premier League matches when they have had more than 50% possession.
Newcastle striker Callum Wilson has been directly involved in nine goals in nine Premier League appearances for the club (seven goals, two assists).
Crystal Palace have won just two of their last 17 Premier League games without Wilfried Zaha (losing 15).
The average age of Palace’s starting XI was 30 years 182 days, the oldest of any team in a Premier League match this season.
Newcastle travel to Aston Villa next Friday (20:00 GMT), while Crystal Palace visit West Brom a week on Sunday (12:00).