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…
Newcastle earned a brilliant draw with Manchester City on Saturday with a few players stepping up and showing their quality when it was needed.
Steve Bruce set his team up in the same way he had against Aston Villa, but there was more energy and determination to their play.
Another who improved dramatically was Miguel Almiron, who stuttered once again last time out, yet put those disappointments behind him to act as a key player in the Magpies picking up a point.
His energy and direct running throughout meant he was a thorn in City’s side. It allowed him to pick up clever pockets of space which he could run into once the ball was played into him, and from there he displayed his effectiveness more often than not.
The most noticeable difference to his play was his awareness, however. When he first joined his decision-making was found to be lacking at times, but against the Citizens, he did brilliantly to find Willems, who subsequently slotted the ball in for Newcastle’s first equaliser.
It was also a first Magpies’ assist for the Paraguay international, and that achievement should do him the world of good, both in lifting huge pressure off his shoulders and in proving to himself that he does have to quality to succeed at this level.
To do so against such a good side should be even more of a boost for the 25-year-old, and if he can take up similar positions and find his teammates in the box more often then the goals and assists should flow.
The £18m-rated Paraguayan works so hard for the team and can be effective in a number of other areas, but it is still a credit to Bruce that he trusted the winger and stuck by him when he easily could have been dropped.
WhoScored gave him a rating of 7.5 for his Man City display, the fourth-highest score of anyone on the pitch, which means that if he replicates that display on a regular basis he will soon be the key man for Toon.
Demonstrating that attacking prowess is just what Newcastle need given their struggles to score at times, and if Almiron can find Joelinton in the box more often then both should be able to fire their team up the table, and really kickstart their careers in the north-east.
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