Many Newcastle United fans have been reacting on social media, after Steve Bruce leapt to the defence of Miguel Almiron during his pre-Aston Villa press conference.
The boss was asking for his thoughts on Almiron ahead of facing the Villans on Monday night, as the 23-cap Paraguay star remains without a goal or assist to show for his efforts in Black and White following his former club-record £21million move in January.
Almiron has now played 22 games for the club – all in the Premier League – but has not seen any of his combined 20 key passes turned home by a Toon teammate, nor has he rippled the back of the net with any of his 40 shots.
Bruce, though, had nothing but praise for Almiron while speaking on Thursday, as he lauded the 25-year-old for the work he puts in to our general play and his relentless work rate.
“I’ve never seen anyone in 20-years cover the distance or play with the intensity that he does,” said Bruce, via quotes by Sky Sports’ Keith Downie. “His running stats are incredible – as big as I’ve seen for any player. He’s multi-talented, I’m confident it’ll happen for him.”
Is Bruce's statement on Almiron correct?
Although Almiron has not recorded a goal or an assist since arriving at St. James’ Park from MLS franchise Atlanta United in January, the 5 ft 8 midfielder has registered the second-most accurate final third passes by a United player in the Premier League this season with 69 – only Joelinton (75) has made more.
Almiron has also registered the highest number of ground duels won in the top-flight this term by a Toon player with 48 and has completed the fourth-most dribbles with 11, which is just 38% of his total attempted, per data collected by Sofa Score.
Here are some of the messages shared as fans reacted to Bruce’s statement in defence of Almiron’s performances and goal record…
Nail and head spring to mind ????
— Ian McCartney (@beasty86) November 21, 2019
For once I agree with Bruce
— DUBZZZY????????⬛️⬜️⬛️⬜️ (@Dewayne09013165) November 21, 2019
Started the move for Matty goal with a 40 yarder to ASM, won free kick for 1st goal against West Ham and I believe the corner for the 2nd not sure on that one..His pass to ASM helped create DeYedlin goal…Just wait till he starts producing.
— Mick Embleton (@bongeordie) November 21, 2019
Thank god he understands
— Barreh (@mduggan64) November 21, 2019
Nice to see Bruce sees it where as clueless other footy fans are quick to slate him for getting no goals or assists
— Andrew (@Andy_Newc) November 21, 2019
I would suggest the lad is maybe trying to hard
— Andrew Kent (@biggeordie77) November 21, 2019
We are better with Almiron than without him. His haters are clueless tbh.
He should be scoring a few but his overall play and work ethic is great and he has been involved in many goals.
— Dell ❄️ 8-2 (@agbnufc) November 21, 2019
Why is Bruce constantly being asked about him, just creates more pressure. If you know football you know he benefits the team
— Lee McDonald (@MIST3RMAC) November 21, 2019