The arrival of Miguel Almiron last January seemed to be a turning point for Newcastle United.
The Paraguayan international joined the Toon on the back of two productive years with Atlanta United where the attacking midfielder guided the Georgia state MLS franchise to their first league title in only their second season in the American top-flight, and in his first few months at Newcastle, Almiron seemed to be worth the hype.
The South American playmaker showed flair and excitement on the pitch the likes of which haven’t been seen at St. James Park for quite some time, with Sky Sports News showing via The Mag that Almiron created more chances on average per game than any other Newcastle player last season.
Many expected the former MLS star to hit the ground running in his first full season with Newcastle, yet a change of manager from Rafa Benitez to Steve Bruce has seen Almiron’s role in the Toon XI change from a left-sided winger who could break on the counter and cut inside to being played out on the right and not being granted the license to drift in and cause damage as positional numbers from Transfermarkt show.
This can be seen in the Paraguayan’s shooting stats from the Premier League’s official website. Last season Almiron attempted 19 shots in 10 games under Benitez, 42% of which were on target. Under Bruce, though, this number plummets to 6 shots in 4 games, with not a single one hitting on target.
Almiron, who is valued at £18m on Transfermarkt, might have been a revelation of sorts lasts season under Benitez, but this campaign is seemingly going to be harder for the 25-year-old midfielder as the numbers show.
With the club spending a then-record transfer fee on the former Atlanta United number 10 in the winter, Almiron finds himself in a race against time to prove his worth to the Newcastle fans and Bruce when the Premier League returns from the international break.