With just two games left in the current campaign – and with Premier League safety long since assured – Newcastle United are likely beginning to turn their attention towards the upcoming transfer window as they look to build upon the positive early strides made in the January market under the new owners.
While it will be the potential marquee incomings which will grab the headlines in the coming weeks and months, consideration should also be made as to who could be moving on, with there likely to be numerous few casualties among the current squad.
Recent reports have suggested that as many as seven players could be ruthlessly axed by manager Eddie Howe ahead of next season, with one of those set to be Paraguayan playmaker Miguel Almiron.
Despite arriving amid much fanfare following his £21m move from MLS outfit Atlanta United in January 2019 , the 28-year-old has failed to truly ignite in English football, memorably waiting almost a year to net his first goal for the club in all competitions.
Things have not really improved since then for the £74k-per-week dud, who has made just 19 goal contributions in 121 games across all fronts for the St James’ Park club, with his lack of cutting edge proving an issue despite his admirable work ethic.
His stint in the northeast has also not been aided by controversial comments made by the player himself towards the back end of last season, in which he admitted that he wished he played for a team which “fights more”.
Now it would seem it is the £14.4m-rated man who is fighting for his Newcastle future under Howe, with the former Bournemouth boss already having the perfect replacement in the form of academy graduate Elliot Anderson.
The 19-year-old starlet – who has made just two senior appearances for the club – is set to return to Tyneside this summer after a dazzling six-month loan stint with Bristol Rovers in League Two, during which the teenager provided eight goals and five assists in just 21 appearances.
That tally included a goal and two assists in the final day thrashing of Scunthorpe, with the playmaker netting the vital seventh goal in that 7-0 drubbing to clinch automatic promotion for Joey Barton’s side.
Such form has seen him dubbed “unbelievable” by Newcastle striker Callum Wilson, while former club scout Graham Carr insisted that the youngster is “like Peter Beardsley” due to his technical talent, also naming him the “best young player I have seen in a long time”.
Such high praise would indicate that the Magpies starlet is set for a bright future, and it is imperative that he doesn’t get lost amid the likely surge of incomings which seem set to arrive at St James’ Park in the coming months and years.
As for now, Howe and PIF must be ruthless in ensuring that they get the teenager in the first-team squad, with Almiron potentially being axed to free up space if needed.