Steve Bruce truly got to see what his expensive front three could do last time out against Manchester United, and he must start them again at Chelsea.
While the trio did start earlier in the season versus Spurs, Allan Saint-Maximin’s injury ended the trio’s first Premier League game together early.
But against the Red Devils, we saw firsthand how much more of a threat we can be when all three play. While Joelinton struggled and Almiron is out of form, Bruce must go with the trio again at Stamford Bridge.
The Brazilian striker came off early in the second half in our last game, replaced by the impressive Andy Carroll. But while some fans would like to see the local hero start, it’s probably still too early. For now, Carroll should just be an impact player.
Joelinton is going to be our main striker in the long run, and needs more minutes to adapt to English football. And with better players around him, he’s only going to improve.
That’s where Saint-Maximin comes in. The Frenchman was sensational against Manchester United. His speed and incredible ball control dazzled the home supporters, immediately solidifying himself as a fan favourite.
Almost from kick off he had an impact, playing in Almiron who was unable to convert. The Paraguayan is going through a rough patch, unable to grab his first goal in black and white.
But he too should start at Chelsea. Ever since he arrived, there’s been pressure on Almiron to be the creative force. But now Saint-Maximin is here, he can share that burden. There should be less reliance on our number 24 to make things happen.
And we can’t forget the role Almiron had in Matty Longstaff’s winner. He picked the ball up from Manchester United’s corner, calmly hitting the byline before picking out Saint-Maximin who drove forward. Any other play might have just lashed it into touch, but Almiron started the attack that won us the game.
Last season was all about the three amigos – Rondon, Perez and Almiron. Now we have a new look front three that has all the potential in the world. They’re three of the club’s most expensive signings in history, costing £77.5 million in total (Joelinton £40m, Almiron £21m, Saint-Maximin £16.5m).
While they’re not firing on all cylinders right now, they still need minutes with each other to build up some chemistry.
Chelsea have been far from solid at the back, and our expensively assembled front three have all the tools to expose them. Bruce must avoid temptation to take either Joelinton or Almiron out of the firing line.