Newcastle boss Eddie Howe could drop Brazilian midfielder Joelinton for Sunday’s Premier League clash against Fulham after his arrest for drink-driving.
The 26-year-old, who has become a key member of Howe’s in-form side, was stopped by police in the early hours of Thursday and later charged with driving while above the prescribed limit for alcohol.
He will appear before magistrates in the city later this month, but is available for Sunday’s match.
Asked at his pre-match press conference on Friday whether Joelinton would play against Fulham, Howe replied: “I’m going to have to reflect and analyse on that and I’ll make a decision closer to the game in consultation with him, so I’m not 100 percent sure.
“My relationship with Joe is very good. I have sat down with him and will do so again. Ultimately, I have to pick the best team to win the game, that’s my job, but I also have to take into account the situation around that.”
Joelinton signed as a forward for a then club-record £40 million ($49 million) from German club Hoffenheim in 2019 but struggled to score goals.
But the South American, who scored his side’s second goal in their 2-0 League Cup quarter-final win over Leicester on Tuesday, has been a regular this season under Howe, whose side are third in the Premier League.
Howe, who revealed Joelinton was desperate to play, said: “It came very much as a shock. It’s a difficult situation. Joe is very remorseful, he was very upset yesterday. I think he knows the seriousness of the situation.
“Obviously I can’t go into too much detail out of respect for the case, but I think he understands his responsibilities.
“We’re now in a position where we’re supporting him and we also understand as a football club the seriousness of the situation.”