After arriving from MLS side Atlanta United in January 2019 for a then club-record fee of £20m, Miguel Almiron was no doubt seen as the kind of signing that could really kick-start things at Newcastle.
It ended a 14-year run of Michael Owen being the club’s most expensive signing, and expectations surely soared through the roof because of that.
Fast forward less than two years later though, and Almiron has struggled to really hit the heights at St James’ Park. And on Sunday night in the Premier League against Wolves, the Paraguay international encapsulated his entire Newcastle career in one 90 minute performance.
The 26-year-old was his usual tireless self, putting in an incredible shift off the ball to make sure he didn’t let his team or manager down. His energy bunny impression was in full effect at Molineux, and it was unsurprising that his defensive numbers were through the roof.
As per Sofascore, he won a mammoth 11 of his 19 total duels, whilst he also made a team-high of seven tackles (three more than the players in second).
But like Jamie Carragher suggested on commentary for Sky Sports, that was all there to it from Almiron: endless running. The quality on the ball was virtually non-existent, providing just one key pass and accurate cross, whilst only managing 20 successful passes in total.
If you hadn’t been watching Premier League football for the past two years, and didn’t know what Almiron was as a player, you’d probably take a look at the stats and see him as a dominant centre-back, or even a full-back.
He just didn’t show anything going forward, and his most telling contributions were booting the ball clear from well inside his own half.
With just nine goals in 61 games since joining the club, Almiron has been nothing short of a disaster. For all the admirable hard work and endeavour, he sadly hasn’t offered much by way of end product.
Sunday’s display against Wolves pretty much summed it all up.
AND in other news, Exclusive: Steve Howey names Newcastle United’s best centre-back pairing…