Miguel Almiron is a player who divides fans.
Now in his ninth month at Newcastle United and the jury still out.
The bare facts are 17 Premier League starts and the sub appearance at Wolves on his NUFC debut. In those games, Miguel Almiron is yet to register a goal or an assist.
This is all fuel for the media in particular, who want to target the Paraguayan as being a big problem for Newcastle, rather than an asset.
Miguel Almiron’s move to Newcastle was a massive deal for Atlanta United and the MLS as a whole.
The £20m being the biggest fee ever paid for an MLS player.
The President of Almiron’s former club has now been talking about the player. Darren Eales believing that given time, Newcastle fans will see far better from the January signing.
Particularly with regard to goals, the Atlanta United President declares ‘It is about confidence and I just hope he can get that first goal and then they will come in waves.’
Eales indicates that Almiron’s career suggests that it is a question of the playing making slow starts with regards to scoring goals at new clubs. However, I am not sure that this rings true for a number of reasons.
At his first club in Paraguay, Miguel Almiron scored only six goals in 39 league appearances, whilst with Lanus in Argentina it was three goals in 35 league appearances.
When he signed for Atlanta United in 2017, Almiron actually made a great start in terms of goals, getting his first goal in only his second game and scoring seven goals in the first 11 starts, getting nine goals in all that season.
In his second MLS season it was a very similar story, first goal in his second appearance of the season and six goals in first six games of the campaign, scoring 13 in total by the end.
Altogether, Miguel Almiron scored 22 goals in 68 MLS appearances but one strange thing is how few games these goals came in. Almiron failed to score in 54 of the 68 MLS games, whilst of the 14 games he scored in, only seven of the matches did he score once in and in the other seven scoring games he got one hat-trick and scored twice on another six occasions.
I think though that the bottom line is that when you look at his career as a whole, Miguel Almiron isn’t really a regular goalscorer.
He has 31 goals in 160 league appearances and with one goal in 23 appearances for Paraguay, that is 32 goals in 183 appearance in international football and club league football.
A goal every five or six games on average.
So I do think Miguel Almiron should obviously be scoring more than he has done so far at Newcastle BUT I think we should also accept that we are looking at a player who could/should be getting maybe six goals or so a season, rather than be expecting double figures.
Which then obviously becomes a problem when you have a team like Newcastle with what appears to be so few other goalscorers.
I like Miguel Almiron though and I think he offers so much more than goals and he has not been helped by Steve Bruce, with very negative team formations and not helping to bring out the best in the player.
It is fact that last season Miguel Almiron helped get Newcastle playing far better football and scoring more goals. In 25 PL games before Almiron made his debut, Newcastle picked up 24 points and scored 21 goals. In the final 13 games, Newcastle scored 21 goals and picked up 21 points – much of that improvement sparked by the Paraguayan on the pitch.
If Newcastle play in a more attacking style than what we have seen under Steve Bruce so far, then I think there is every chance that playing with Allan Saint-Maximin especially, we will see Miguel Almiron bounce back to the form of last season AND also scoring some goals.
Atlanta United President Darren Eales speaking at the Leaders in Sport summit:
“It took Miggy a little bit of time to find his feet when he made the move from Paraguay to the Argentinian league and the same with us in our first MLS season.
“He was unbelievable but he missed a few chances.
“He went eight games without scoring and had not scored at home and you could feel it getting pent up a little bit.
“Then he scored a hat-trick against Houston where everything he hit went in…he got that hat-trick and the floodgates then opened.
“You see his glimpses of his ability.
“He showed it in the summer with Paraguay at the Copa America
“His pace with the ball is incredible.
“I always likened it to Gareth Bale from my time at Spurs (In 2010 Eales was appointed Club Secretary and then Director of Football administration).
“He always seems quicker when he has got the ball than without the ball.
“It is about confidence and I just hope he can get that first goal and then they will come in waves.”
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