Joselu has officially joined La Liga side Deportivo Alavés for a reported fee of less than £2million.
Newcastle United, Alavés, and Joselu all made official statements today regarding the matter, in what is one of the saddest days in Newcastle history.
The Spaniard was a product of La Liga side Celta Vigo’s academy, where he began to make a name for himself before getting sold to La Liga giants Real Madrid. Joselu was thought to be an exciting prospect for Real Madrid after scoring a debut goal before getting sold to Bundesliga Club Hoffenheim.
After a few seasons in the Bundesliga Joselu made his way to England joining Stoke City in 2015. At Stoke Joselu only made 22 appearances scoring 4 goals in the process, but was still viewed as a promising player who should be getting playing time by many Stoke fans
When he was eventually sold to Newcastle in 2017 for £5million many Stoke fans claimed that Newcastle were getting a bargain, and that Joselu was right to leave Stoke after unfairly playing second fiddle to the likes of a very raw Saido Berahino and a very old Peter Crouch.
Joselu essentially was a desperation signing made at the end of the 2017 summer window that Rafa was forced to make after Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley failed to get any of his first choice strikers. That summer Newcastle had already tried to sign Vincent Aboubakar, Tammy Abraham, Michy Batshuayi, Jota, and Adama Traore. Newcastle to reach agreements with all of those players and clubs before moving on to Joselu, a deal they got done with only a few days left in the window.
Joselu’s start to Newcastle began with a goal against West Ham in a 3-0 win. Tensions between Aleksander Mitrovic and Rafa Benitez as well as the failure to produce by Dwight Gayle and Islam Slimani turned Joselu into somewhat of a feature player for Newcastle United making 32 appearances for Newcastle in the 2017-2018 campaign. This upset most fans as Joselu simply was not cut out to be a Premier League number 9. In the eyes of Rafa, none of his strikers were who he personally wanted as the number 9 in his system, but Joselu had a wonderful attitude, constantly wanted to improve, and worked hard in training which earned him a plethora of appearances under Benitez.
Joselu’s short stint at Newcastle ends with the striker having scored 6 goals in 49 appearances. Joselu did have some memorable moments as a Newcastle player such as scoring against Swansea to secure safety in 2017, or equalizing against Liverpool this year, or attempting to shoot from 20 yards out and somehow hitting the corner flag against Brighton this past season.
In Joselu’s official goodbye to fans he praised the fans, city, and stadium and wished the club the best of luck in the 2019 campaign.
Dear Newcastle United Fans, the time has come to say goodbye. I just can say THANK YOU. Incredible Stadium, city, Club and people. Wish you all the best for the upcoming season. pic.twitter.com/IwOsE2NhmU— Joselu Mato (@JoseluMato9) July 15, 2019
Joselu leaves Newcastle as one of the most liked players under the Benitez tenure by both players and fans. Sure, Joselu became a meme among the fans as he served to be another example of the incompetence of the Mike Ashley regime, but as time went on fans began to love the Spaniard. Joselu certainly was not a Premier League quality player but he always brought a good attitude, worked his ass off to try to improve, and always showed support for the fans; three things that will earn you the respect of many Newcastle supporters.
Joselu you will be missed. Best of luck to you in your return to La Liga.
Te queremos mucho.