Newcastle flop Joselu has Ancelotti purring after ‘runs like a 38-year-old’ dig

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When Joselu’s dreary spell at Newcastle United came to an end in 2019, not many would have predicted that, four years later, he may be given a shot at playing in the white of Real Madrid for the second time in his career.

The latest comments from Los Blancos boss Carlo Ancelotti suggest that a move for the ex-Magpies flop could be on the cards this summer. Joselu previously spent three years playing for Real’s B team, and he has been tearing it up in Spain since waving goodbye to St James’ Park four years ago.

Three seasons hitting double figures in La Liga with Alaves preceded a move to Espanyol last summer, and despite approaching the twilight of his career, the striker is playing some of his best ever football.

With 16 goals so far this term, only Karim Benzema and Robert Lewandowski are ahead of the 33-year-old in this campaign’s La Liga scoring charts, which has caught Ancelotti’s attention.

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“We are watching, we are going to work to improve the squad but I don’t want to talk about names, it doesn’t seem right to me,” the Italian told reporters this week. “There are a lot of players involved right now, in important challenges.”

Despite his reluctance to discuss specifics, the Italian then admitted his admiration for the former Newcastle frontman. “I like Joselu, but also others,” he added. “[Iago] Aspas, [Alvaro] Morata, to talk about the Spanish forwards. Because what you tend to like is that they score goals.”

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Being mentioned along with Aspas and Morata, let alone linked with Real Madrid, seemed a long shot during Joselu’s stint on Tyneside. The Spaniard scored four Premier League goals across his debut season and only two in his second, with many thankful to draw a line under the association when he made his retreat.

Former Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino was among Joselu’s critics during his time in the Premier League, calling him ‘one of the least mobile centre-forwards in the country’.

“He is like me when I was 37 or 38,” he wrote in The Times. “The Spanish striker, 28, was poor again in their 2-0 defeat against Watford, who made 11 changes to their starting line-up. You know you’re in trouble when your opponents name a second-string team and you still can’t get near them.”

Joselu’s form since ditching the Magpies has seen him given recognition on the international stage for the first time in his career. He was given his debut by new Spain boss Luis de la Fuente, scoring twice in a 3-0 win over Norway back in March.

“He is like me when I was 37 or 38. The Spanish striker, 28, was poor again in their 2-0 defeat against Watford, who made 11 changes to their starting line-up.

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