A lot has been said about the partnership between Miguel Almiron and Matt Ritchie.
The pair haven’t combined particularly well since the Paraguayan arrived, and fans have started to notice. Against Arsenal, it seemed more obvious than ever that Ritchie was reluctant to pass to the 25-year-old.
With Rafa Benitez’s system, the pair have been put together down the left. On paper, you’d think they’d be a decent combination. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Ritchie used to be the man Newcastle turned to for creativity, but now it’s Almiron who is the creative force. Both players want to make things happen, but go about things in a different way. A lot of the time, Ritchie sends the ball backwards or inside, rather than trusting our newest signing.
This is hindering Almiron, so could a change to the team help him out?
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Dummett might be a better suited partner for Almiron
Before we moved to five at the back, Paul Dummett was Newcastle’s resident left-back.
He’s old fashioned in his approach, just focusing on defending. He leaves the attacking to more talented players. If Almiron had Dummett behind him, he’d probably see much more of the ball.
Dummett wouldn’t try to make things happen for himself. He’d find Almiron time and time again, feeding him with possession whenever he could.
For this to work, we’d either have to move back to four in defence or utilise Dummett as a wing-back. While it is a possibility, the role of wing-back is reserved for someone a bit more attacking than Newcastle’s number three.
The combination down the left is proving to be an issue for Newcastle, and we need a solution that can get the best out of Almiron. Playing Dummett behind him might be a start.