Newcastle United announced today the signing of forward Joselu on a three-year-deal from Stoke City. The transfer has been expected for some time but news of it becoming official comes in the midst of frustration around Newcastle’s transfer activity and Mike Ashley’s interview with Sky Sports on the matter. Joselu will wear number 21.
Joselu, 27, spent last season on loan at Deportivo La Coruña, where he scored five goals and added an assist in 20 appearances, including nine starts. Prior to that, he spent his first and only season playing at Stoke, where he registered four goals and an assist in 22 appearances, 10 of which were starts. Joselu has also spent time in his career at Hannover 96, Eintracht Frankfurt, Hoffenheim, and Real Madrid, where he came up through the youth ranks.
In terms of style of play, Joselu is an effective forward on crosses and set pieces, winning 3.2 aerial duels per match, more than any attacking player on last year’s Newcastle side. Joselu’s passing abilities leave little to be desired, completing less than 63% of his passes, which would have been worst on last year’s Newcastle squad except for the three goalkeepers and Daryl Murphy.
Rafa has voiced his opinion on the signing, stating, ““We have known Joselu since his days at the Real Madrid academy, and we know that he has the potential to do well for us. Obviously he has experience of English football and the Premier League and that was another thing we took into consideration. We think if we can exploit his full potential he will be a good signing for us. He knows and accepts the challenge we've given him at Newcastle United and he's keen to come and fight for a position in the team.”
The move, which is rumored to be for around £5 million, is certainly targeting a position of need at striker, but is not for the man most would have wanted or expected as rumors of Lucas Pérez’s availability and Rafa’s interest have been swirling for weeks. There are rumors of other business to be done, including for Udinese goalkeeper and Greek international Orestis Karnezis.