Eddie Howe could drop Joelinton after drunk driving case

Premier League

After Joelinton’s arrest for drunk driving, Newcastle manager Eddie Howe may decide to bench the Brazilian midfielder against Fulham on Sunday in the Premier League.

The 26-year-old, who has grown to be an important part of Howe’s in-form team, was pulled over by police in the early hours of Thursday and then charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

He is available for Sunday’s game even though he must go before municipal magistrates later this month. Joelinton’s participation against Fulham was a question that Howe was asked at his pre-game press conference on Friday. Howe’s response was, “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.

“We get along great, me and Joe. I’ve had him over, and I will have him over again. My responsibility is to choose the squad that will win the game, but I also have to consider the circumstances.” Joelinton struggled to score goals after joining German club Hoffenheim in 2019 for a then-club-record £40 million. But under Howe, whose team is third in the Premier League, the South American has been a regular, scoring his team’s second goal in their 2-0 League Cup quarterfinal victory over Leicester on Tuesday.

Howe, who made it known that Joelinton was eager to play, said: “It came as a huge shock. It’s a challenging circumstance. Joe was quite unhappy yesterday and feels terrible about it. He may be aware of how terrible the issue is. I can’t go into too much detail, obviously, out of respect for the matter, but I believe he is aware of his obligations. As a football club, we recognize the gravity of the situation and are now in a position to support him.”

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