This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
If there is one player in the Premier League who deserves a goal just for simply running himself into the ground, then Miguel Almiron would be that man. The Paraguay international’s commitment to the cause cannot be questioned, with former Newcastle ace Lee Clark desperately pleading for his hard work to be rewarded.
“He’s got such a brilliant work ethic for the team, the reports you get from the training ground is that he works ever so hard on the pitch and I think everybody that is associated with the club are willing Almiron on to get this goal.”
Clark’s comments came about two months ago, and unfortunately for the Magpies, he is still yet to break his goal-scoring duck for the club. It all means he has now gone 22 games without finding the back of the net, and serious questions must now be raised as to whether Newcastle should think about cutting their losses.
And if The Northern Echo’s report on Steve Bruce’s transfer stance on Jarrod Bowen is true, it could very well be the beginning of the end for Almiron’s time at St James’ Park. According to the publication, the Magpies boss is continuing to recommend that the club attempt to sign the Hull winger either in January or next summer. And based off his stats to start this current season, it is easy to see why.
The 22-year-old has no such goal-scoring problems as compared to Almiron, netting 10 times in 17 games – including five in his last five Championship matches. A right-winger capable of playing down the middle (remind you of anyone?), Bowen’s under-lying numbers also make for impressive reading. He averages 3.5 shots, 1.1 key passes and 1.9 dribbles per game, with an average match rating of 7.31 as per Whoscored.
Newcastle man Almiron however, averages just 1.8 shots, 0.6 key passes and 0.9 dribbles per game, whilst his match rating is down at a miserable 6.35. With Bruce appearing to favour this five-at-the-back formation with Joelinton as the sole striker, there is no room for a number ten – a position the £18m-rated man could perhaps have played were Bowen to join.
Instead, it would be a straight shoot-out to take up the wide berth on the right-hand side, and on current form, Bowen looks like he would win that battle hands down. And that could very well mark an early end to Almiron’s career at St James’ Park.