Miguel Almiron arrived at Newcastle in January, with the label of being the club’s record signing at that time, and put in some performances that justified him being so.
When the Paraguayan burst through on goal against Huddersfield in his home debut, and chipped the ball over their keeper’s head, only to see it come off the post, fans thought it would just be a matter of time until he got his opening goal.
But here we are in September, and Almiron has still not found the net for the Magpies.
Of course, his game is about so much more than goal-scoring, and he has still shown he has what it takes to be a success in the Premier League, with his pacy, mazy runs causing defences problems.
But a goal and change of position will help Almiron fulfill his potential on Tyneside.
A goal for Almiron is much-needed
He desperately needs to score, and as soon as he does, the pressure will lift off the South American, and both he and Newcastle will reap the rewards.
He came to the club having a record of 13 goals and 13 assists from just 38 MLS games for Atlanta United during the 2017/2018 season, and it was always going to be difficult to replicate those statistics in a higher quality league.
But he is bound to be enduring a dip in confidence as a result of his current goal-drought, but it will not last forever, and he will hope his first of many is just around the corner.
He is not an out-and-out striker
Despite those incredible numbers in America, it is still unfair to describe Almiron as a traditional striker.
He would be more effective playing in a free role behind a pair of forwards, with a midfield three behind him.
He could influence a game much more from that position and instead of dropping off to pick up the ball, leaving Joelinton isolated, he would still have options ahead of him when he is in possession.
He could also be dangerous playing in a wider position, with him cutting in from the wing and being a handful for full-backs.
Patience will be key to Almiron’s future success
It is not just the player who needs to be patient as he waits for his first goal in a black and white shirt. The fans and manager must also give him time.
Fans may get impatient as a lack of goals becomes more of a worry, but they must continue to back him and believe in him.
If they start to get on his back, it could have a detrimental effect.
Same too with Bruce. He must persist with Almiron. The pace he brings to the team is something we do not have a lot of. He needs to be playing, and as with the fans, Bruce needs to have belief in him.
If he is benched, it is likely to play on his mind, and could exacerbate the problem.
Almiron is a player that gives Newcastle that little bit of the unexpected. And with Allan Saint-Maximin currently sidelined, it is essential that he is playing every week.
All players suffer spells where they do not score, and Almiron is no different. But it will surely end soon, and the only way that can happen is if he is playing.
The signs are still good, and his displays have still been decent, if not spectacular.
A goal will change all that.
Overall Grade: C