Newcastle’s Miguel Almiron put in a stunning performance for Paraguay in the Copa America on Sunday night, starring in a number 10 role for his nation.

Paraguay faced Qatar in their opening group match of the tournament, and disappointingly drew 2-2 with the Asian side, despite having previously led 2-0.

However Almiron himself was far from a disappointment.

(Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)

The Toon midfielder thrived in a position he is still yet to play in for Newcastle, and showcased plenty of creativity.

The Magpies’ record signing bagged himself one assist on the night, and was very unlucky to not have contributed more goals.

In fact, Almiron is officially the most creative player in the tournament after the first round of matches.

His five key passes against Qatar is more than any other player so far, surpassing the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho and others.

Highlights from the midfielder included a defence splitting pass which a teammate failed to convert:

A fantastic run into the box followed by a back post assist, which was later disallowed by VAR:

And of course his assist:

He also worked his socks off late in the game to try and put a stop to Qatar’s comeback:

Obviously such a performance comes as no surprise to Newcastle fans, as the midfielder revitalised Rafa Benitez’s side after arriving in January this year.

But despite everything he brought to the team, he had a surprising lack of assists and goals by the end of the season.

Sunday night’s performance showed that to truly unlock Almiron’s potential, Newcastle must change the midfielder’s role.

Almiron must be given chance in a central role

(Photo by Steven Hadlow/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Due to Almiron’s versatility across midfield, the Paraguayan found himself playing on the left of a midfield three for most of last season.

His defensive work rate and speed meant he was a great fit for the role, but it also meant his influence on the game was limited.

Newcastle’s fortunes in front of goal greatly improved after his arrival. But Sunday’s performance suggests he could have a more direct impact in a number 10 role.

Last season, Benitez’s rigid formation meant a central role just wasn’t available for Almiron.

Ayoze Perez was instead preferred in the hole behind Salomon Rondon, and by the end of the season the two had formed a successful partnership.

But with so many Newcastle players rumoured to be on the way out this summer, there’s now likely to be a lack of attacking options up front.

The Toon are therefore likely going to be counting on Almiron more than ever next season and they’ll need him to have much more influence on the game.

If he continues to impress in a number 10 role for Paraguay, Newcastle need to ensure they are not ignoring his best position.

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Related Topics