Miguel Almiron has still not managed to find the net following his move to Newcastle in January, and has not managed to chip in with an assist either.
The Paraguayan has got undoubted talent, and while his goal drought for Newcastle continues, he finally ended a similar dour run for the national side, with a goal in their 4-2 away win against Jordan.
Former Newcastle icon, Rob Lee, is the latest to comment on the former MLS star, claiming he needs to “slow down” and produce an “end product”.
Lee was speaking to the Chronicle, and said: “I love his enthusiasm, he runs around like a schoolboy but for £20 million we need end product.
“He needs to maybe slow down a bit and score a few goals. He hasn’t scored or assisted a goal since arriving at the club. I expect more now because he’s had his time to adjust. It’s maybe a bit harsh but that’s my view.”
The former Newcastle midfielder’s assessment is an astute one, of course. Almiron has indeed had enough ‘bedding-in’ time now, and while his performances have always been energetic, and gets fans off their seats, he does need to back it up in front of goal.
Toon manager, Steve Bruce, was more defensive of the player in his opinion, as you would expect, and said “you cannot but admire the way he plays”.
But he was in agreement with Lee on the vital area in front of goal, when he told the Chronicle: “I think he is aware and everyone else is aware that he’s got to score a goal. He’s in an important position for us so I think it will come. I really do.
“I thought he was excellent against Spurs and the other day if he had scored. I think it’s just a matter of time. He’ll be OK. As a footballer, he’s a good player.”
I think Bruce’s assessment of Almiron is a good one. I genuinely believe that a goal will change him completely, and it will be as though a huge weight will be lifted from his shoulders.
A tweak to Miguel Almiron’s role would help his form
The formation has not been helpful to Almiron, it must be said, with him having to do too many things at once.
He needs to be played up top, or told to roam behind the main striker. But he cannot, and should not, be expected to drop deep, get the ball, and still be in scoring positions. It must be one or the other.
I still think when everyone is fit, having him cutting in from a wider role on the right, and Allan Saint-Maximin doing similar from the left, will be our most fruitful lineup.
But for now, Almiron just needs to be on the lucky end of a deflection to get a goal in any way, shape or form.
Let’s all hope that comes at Anfield on Saturday, if he is selected.