Newcastle visit the Molineux Stadium to face Wolves on Monday and the Toon Army will be chomping at the bit to see record signing Miguel Almiron in action for the first time. BBC Sport pundit Mark Lawrenson thinks it could be a baptism of fire for Paraguayan though.
Discussing his predictions for this weekend’s round of Premier League action with actor Jamie Dornan and photo-journalist Paul Conroy, the former defender had this to say on Monday night’s match:
“Newcastle’s new signing Miguel Almiron should make his debut and I am looking forward to seeing how he gets on.
“I have seen lots of footage of him and he looks like a player but it will be an interesting night for him because the Premier League is very different to the MLS, and Wolves are a team in form.
“Of all the teams chasing seventh place, Nuno Espirito Santo’s team are definitely the most consistent in terms of performances, and I can see them getting a fourth-straight win on Monday.
The likes of Jermain Defoe and Clint Dempsey have crossed the Atlantic to ply their respective trades in the United States but very few go the other way – the step up in terms of quality is realistically more of a leap and, as Lawrenson says, it will be interesting to see how the Paraguayan fares on his first outing in black and white.
As far as introductions to the Premier League come, an away-day at the Molineux Stadium is a pretty good one. The pyrotechnics, flags and thunderous chanting make for a fantastic, but intimidating atmosphere and Wolves will be hoping their recent form carries into this game.
Newcastle and Rafa Benitez appear to have discovered a winning formula though – or at least a formula that makes them very hard to beat – in their 5-4-1. However, 24-year-old Almiron may force Benitez into altering this slightly – there is no room for an attacking midfielder and if you pay a club-record fee for player, you surely want them in their preferred position.
Regardless of where the speedster is deployed, he will find his work cut out for him against a physical Wolves side that are going from strength to strength.
Does Newcastle’s infamous title collapse of 1996 mirror what is happening at Liverpool right now? The Magpie Channel discuss in the video below…