Miguel Almiron started the Graeme Jones era on the bench for Newcastle.
The Paraguayan hasn’t started since the 2-1 defeat to Wolves before the October international break.
He was nowhere to be seen when the Magpies lost 3-2 to Tottenham, then had to settle for a substitute role in the first game without Steve Bruce.
Almiron did feature against Crystal Palace, replacing Ryan Fraser in the 66th minute. He played on the left of a central midfield three, and had a much bigger impact than his Scottish teammate.
The 27-year-old added pace to a sluggish midfield, and often found himself in decent positions down the left. Sadly, it didn’t lead to victory at Selhurst Park.
MORE NEWCASTLE STORIES
Next up for Newcastle is an incredibly tough clash with Chelsea, and Almiron must return to the starting XI.
Newcastle need Miguel Almiron vs Chelsea
Almiron showed how effective he could be when he came off the bench against Palace. In contrast, Fraser failed to prove that he is up to the task.
It’s going to be even tougher against Chelsea on Saturday, with Newcastle likely to spend most of their time defending.
That’s why Almiron’s return is imperative. He’s one of the hardest working players in a Newcastle shirt today. His energy will be just as important going backwards as it is forwards.
If we’re going to have any joy against the Blues, it will likely be on the break. That’s where we need Almiron. He’s ridiculously quick in and out of possession.
Whether he plays centrally or out wide, it’s essential that Jones makes at least one change to the side that drew with Crystal Palace last time out. Almiron has to start.