For a while now, Newcastle have struggled to pose a huge threat to the opposition in the Premier League. Of course, there was the season that they won the Championship back in the 2016/17 campaign, in which Dwight Gayle netted 23 times – apart from that, however, the Magpies have definitely been more of a defence-minded outfit in recent years.
Having said that, following on from the January arrival of Miguel Almiron in what was a club-record deal, Rafa Benitez may have stumbled across something resembling a dangerous attack as Newcastle beat Everton by three goals to two, having been 2-0 down at one point.
Against the Toffees, Benitez set his side up in a 3-4-3 formation, with the aforementioned trio all starting together up top – Paraguayan international Almiron was sat in an attacking midfield role behind Rondon and Perez.
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Perez and Rondon alone were a fairly effective big-man-little-man strike partnership originally, but Almiron’s arrival has given the Magpies’ goal threat a different dimension.
Venezuelan international Rondon remains a dominant presence aerially, who wins the knock downs for Perez and Almiron, whilst the Spanish forward excels with his clever attacking movement and his ability to always know where he needs to be.
Nowadays, where some of Rondon’s headers used to miss Perez, and then the gap between the two frontmen and Newcastle’s low-lying midfield saw the Magpies invite pressure onto themselves, Almiron occupies the space in that gap to gather the ball and cause problems – their second goal against the Toffees is a good example of how the trio are gelling together.
Benitez has always sets his Newcastle team up to be solid defensively, in the hope of them nicking a goal and then defending that lead during his time managing them in the top-flight, but Mike Ashley’s rare decision to back him in the market has given the Spanish boss’ side a new dimension.