Rafael Benitez started with Joselu in Newcastle United’s opening game 2-1 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur last Saturday.
The Spaniard repaid the faith by scoring for the Magpies, but he still could find himself being dropped to the bench against Cardiff City with Benitez most likely to start with new summer signing Salomon Rondon.
The 28-year-old faces competition from Rondon and Yoshinori Muto this season, both having been signed this summer to bolster the strike department.
Benitez has showered praise on Joselu but at the same time he has hinted that the former Stoke City striker could be his third choice for the season.
The former Liverpool manager has said that although Joselu is doing a ‘good job’, the strikers bought in the summer transfer window have superior qualities to him.
“We talk about characteristics of a player and Rondon he is strong, he can keep the ball and link with the others, and at the same time he has more mobility,” Benitez said, as quoted by the Chronicle.
“He can give us this physicality and this kind of player that sometimes we were missing when we were under pressure.
“He can hold the ball and move forward. Joselu is doing a good job but maybe is not as strong as Rondon. He has clever movements but maybe is not as quick as Muto.”
Benitez’s comments, no matter how brutal a truth it is, will not pose itself as good news for the Spanish striker. It clearly suggests that he rates both Rondon and Muto higher than Joselu, which means the former Celta striker could become his third choice option this season.
Both the players made a positive impact when they came on as sub against Spurs, with Rondon even hitting the crossbar.