Newcastle striker Joselu ready to face old club Stoke

Joselu says he doesn't care about his bargain price tag ahead of his former club's visit to St James's Park.

Friday, 15th September 2017, 7:33 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th September 2017, 10:47 am

The Newcastle United striker was signed from Stoke City last month for a cut-price £5million fee.

Joselu was sold on a move to Tyneside after speaking to manager Rafa Benitez.

And the 27-year-old – who spent last season on loan at Deportivo La Coruna after a difficult first season at Stoke following his £5.75million move from Hannover – has hit the ground running at Newcastle.

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Joselu scored on his full debut against West Ham United and helped the team record a second successive win at Swansea City last weekend.

United fans had been hoping to see a big-money striker arrive at St James’s Park in the summer transfer window.

However, supporters have quickly taken to the former Spain Under-21 international, who is keeping Dwight Gayle, last season’s top scorer, out of Benitez’s starting XI.

“Rafa told me to sign here,” said Joselu. “He told me many good things about the club, the city, everything. I didn’t have to think too much about it, I signed quickly and I’m here.

“They bought me. I now try to play well and to help the club win the games.”

Asked about his price tag, Joselu said: “It doesn’t matter if I cost £5million, £6million or £25million. The transfer market is crazy now. I don’t care about that.”

Joselu is happy to be working under the guidance of countryman Benitez, who will return to the dugout for the Stoke game after missing the Swansea match.

Benitez watched the game from his home as he recovered from an operation.

“Rafa’s a big manager in the world,” said Joselu. “When he talks about you, and he says he has followed you, it’s nice to know.

“I hope for an opportunity now. I think I played well against West Ham.”

No player has had more shots on target than Joselu, despite him having only played 188 minutes of Premier League football so far this season.

Joselu, Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku and Mohamed Salah have all had nine shots on target.

Aleksandar Mitrovic will serve the second game of a three-match ban against Stoke. The striker was suspended for elbowing Manuel Lanzini in Newcastle’s 3-0 win over West Ham late last month.

Meanwhile, Mikel Merino has been named as the club’s player of the month for August. The midfielder, on loan from Borussia Dortmund, pipped Ciaran Clark and Christian Atsu to the award, which is backed by United sponsor FUN88.

Merino, 21, will be presented with the trophy before the Stoke match.