Danny Mills has claimed it is “sad” to see Joelinton earning plaudits for simply working hard for Newcastle United.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Middlesbrough and England defender insisted the “world’s gone wrong” if Joelinton’s work rate is enough to make him a fans favourite.
The Brazilian has transformed his reputation amongst the Newcastle supporters by reinventing himself as a midfielder under Eddie Howe.
He was signed for a club-record £40million fee in the summer of 2019 and handed the iconic number nine shirt.
However, he was a flop in front of goal and has found the net just seven times in 87 Premier League games.
As quoted by the Daily Mail yesterday (29 December), Joelinton revealed he is relishing his new role.
Asked for his verdict on Joelinton, Mills told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “He works hard but can’t score.
“Hard work should be mandatory. Any player can run. With effort and desire, any player can get fit and run.
“He’s clearly got a little bit of quality, if not you wouldn’t be a Premier League player – no matter what people think of him.
“It’s not enough. He’s supposed to be a goalscorer or creating things.
“It’s almost sad when we start praising people for working hard when that is the bare minimum that anybody should be expected to do. Simple as that.
“It’s like ‘Wow, you worked hard’. Hang on a minute, that’s your job. If we’re not expecting them to work hard then surely the world’s gone a little bit wrong.
“You don’t get paid to do flicks and tricks, you get paid to go out and work hard first and foremost, that’s a prerequisite.”