Newcastle have endured a nightmare season to date and currently sit 19th in the Premier League table after 15 matches played.
They have 10 points on the board after picking up their first win of the campaign against Burnley over the weekend, to go along with their seven draws and seven defeats.
Whilst the club’s poor form this season has been caused in part by a number of players underperforming on the pitch, one man who has particularly struggled is Miguel Almiron.
The ex-Atlanta United playmaker has been a passenger this season and Eddie Howe must brutally axe him from the squad in January unless something changes in the next month. His performances have not been anywhere near good enough for a player who Transfermarkt claim to be the fourth-most expensive signing in the Tyneside club’s history.
In 13 Premier League appearances this season, the Paraguayan has failed to score or set up a single goal. As per SofaScore, he has also lost 52% of his duels and given possession away a whopping 98 times, whilst only averaging 0.8 key passes and 0.2 crosses per game from out wide.
This shows that he has been a passenger on the pitch as he has not pulled his own weight on the ball, despite his work rate out of possession. He is not showing enough quality with the ball at his feet to warrant a place in the team, and that could force Howe to look at the transfer window as a possible solution to that problem.
Last year, Almiron’s former boss Steve Bruce dished out glowing praise of the 27-year-old due to his willingness to train and play on despite carrying an injury.
The ex-Magpies coach said: “Almiron is a manager’s dream. He’s bright, he’s tough, he trains every day and he’s been carrying a thigh injury but doesn’t want to tell anybody.
“The last 20 minutes on Sunday (against West Ham United) he was limping about the pitch. In 18 months he’s proved to be a really top, top player.”
This highlights the positive aspects of Almiron’s game and shows that he is willing to work hard for the team and put in a shift. However, that is little use to Newcastle if it comes with almost no quality in possession, given that he often plays in the final third of the pitch.
Therefore, unless the Paraguayan bucks up his ideas and starts making an impact in front of goal in providing assists and/or scoring goals, Howe may need to cash in on him in January and look elsewhere for a replacement. The Magpies will need quality at the top of the pitch to get themselves out of the relegation zone and Almiron is not providing that at this moment in time, as shown by his appalling statistics in the top flight.