This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
It is fair to say that Miguel Almiron has struggled to get firing in the Premier League since joining Newcastle in what was a club-record fee at the time.
The £20m signing promised a lot when he arrived on Tyneside having scored and assisted a total of 43 goals in 70 appearances for Atlanta United, and there was certainly a lot of expectation on him performing from Toon fans.
He has looked to be a threat on occasion and his pace has suited the Premier League by allowing him to get in behind the defence and cause the opposition problems, as highlighted against Manchester United on Sunday.
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However, too often, as it was the case in that match, Almiron doesn’t have the quality to provide the decisive touch to either score or assist his Newcastle teammates.
It is not the only area of concern for the Paraguayan, either, and against the Red Devils he disappointed with the ball at his feet as he was careless in possession and wasteful in the final third, as his stats from WhoScored demonstrate.
That will be a big worry for Steve Bruce, particularly as summer signings Joelinton and Allan-Saint Maximin are still finding their feet, too, and thus are yet to add the attacking threat that makes the Magpies a dangerous outfit, with one goal and zero assists between them.
Their goal-scoring record reflects that with five in eight league games, and if Almiron doesn’t improve quickly he should find himself out of the team.
Players such as Matt Ritchie and Christian Atsu will likely be frustrated at not getting more game time despite Almiron’s shortcomings.
The 25-year-old is still yet to register a goal or assist for the club in 18 games and a lack of composure and instinct against United indicated that it could be a bigger problem than a lack of confidence.
It is not just in front of goal where he struggled at the weekend, having also failed to beat a man or supply a key pass to a teammate, whilst his 24 touches show that he wasn’t involved as much as the St James’ Park faithful may have expected.
Bruce has come under fire from supporters since taking over but if key players are underperforming it makes his job a lot harder, and as a result he may consider dropping the winger or altering his position in order to improve the team, and his level of performance – with WhoScored giving him an average rating of 6.2 in the Premier League.