If Newcastle had a player like Miguel Almiron, things might have been different against Manchester United.
For all their endeavour, Newcastle came up short against the Red Devils, losing 2-0. Rafa Benitez’s side had some positive spells in the game, and it did look like they could actually get something out of it.
However, Manchester United’s wealth of talent eventually proved too much, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer picking up another victory.
But for Newcastle, it was another game where creativity was severely lacking.
For all our spells of pressure, we failed to carve out a clear cut chance. Every save David De Gea made was a simple one, with Christian Atsu coming closest for the Magpies.
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We showed fight once again, which has never been lacking since Benitez took over, but quality on the ball was nowhere to be seen.
There was one moment of class where Jonjo Shelvey picked out Ayoze Perez exquisitely, but that was as good as it got.
Newcastle are crying out for Almiron
Before the January transfer window opened, Newcastle were heavily linked with a move for Paraguayan playmaker Almiron. The Atlanta United midfielder has been a star in the MLS, and looks perfect to take the Premier League by storm.
He’s the kind of player that Newcastle have been crying out for for years, and the defeat to Manchester United was just another reminder of this.
It’s been a problem all season. We struggle at creating chances. Perez isn’t creative enough in his withdrawn striker role, while we’ve often deployed two defensive minded midfielders.
Almiron could thrive if he was the focal point at Newcastle, and it would be a signing that could distance ourselves from the relegation zone.
Fighting for every ball is great, but at the minute we don’t look capable of controlling games and winning comfortably. In fact, all four of our wins this season have been by just one goal.
The defeat on Wednesday night is another reminder to Mike Ashley that he must invest or risk another relegation. Forget the takeover ‘will it, won’t it’, this club is only going in one direction at the minute.
We need investment, and we need it now. And in an ideal world, we need Almiron.