Miguel Almiron is due to make his return to Newcastle either today or tomorrow after playing for Paraguay. Miguel has been under scrutiny recently with his missed chances, especially after the Watford draw a few weeks ago.
Yesterday, former Magpie Rob Lee had some harsh words on the player who joined from Atlanta United this past January. A lot of what Rob said was accurate, but what Almiron brings to Newcastle is very important.
While he has not provided any goals or assists yet, he is a threat to the opposition, and that creates space and chances for his teammates. A lot of the criticism Miguel stems from the team’s reliance on him to score goals when that is not really something he has been able to do in the past.
Steve Bruce has spoken about Miguel in the Shields Gazette. This is what Steve has said about the 25-year-old:
“First time I saw him I thought ‘wow, what a good player he is’. I think he feels he’s had a few chances. Last week, he had two great opportunities but didn’t take them.
“But you cannot but admire the way he plays. However, I think he’s aware, and everyone else is aware, that he’s got to score a goal. He’s in an important position for us, so I think it will come. I really do.”
“He became a free spirit at Atlanta as a No10, an attacking midfielder. What’s his best position? Because if you’re off the striker, then you have to be getting 10-12 goals a season.
“Is he a wide player? Is he a No10? Is he a midfielder? I think that’s the one. I think it’s just a matter of time. He’ll be OK. As a footballer, he’s a good player.”
Miguel is a versatile attacker who can play in multiple positions proficiently. Finding the best one for him with this crop of players is something that Steve Bruce will have to continue to experiment with.
With the lack of fit strikers, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Miguel play behind Joelinton again against Liverpool if the Paraguayan is deemed fit.
Bruce tried that in the first two games of the season, but the pair were often isolated. It was an even bigger problem in the second game at Norwich where Almiron often dropped too deep leaving Joelinton completely void of support in attack.
However, Bruce may have no other option on Saturday due to the injury situation with Newcastle’s attackers.
We believe Miguel will come good at Newcastle. He is a talented player whose work-rate is immense. We just don’t see him getting into double figures with goals, though we do think he’ll open his account before too long.
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