Where has it all gone wrong for Miguel Almiron?
The Paraguayan was sensational when he first arrived, giving Newcastle a different dimension going forward. But after almost a year with the Magpies, he looks a shadow of the player Rafa Benitez signed for £21 million.
A lot has been made about his failures in front of goal. But despite not scoring in wins over West Ham and Bournemouth, Almiron was much more impressive and influenced proceedings.
But against Aston Villa, he was back to his worst. Almiron’s confidence has gone. He seems to panic in possession, desperate to score without every really looking composed enough to find the net.
At Villa Park, he struggled to have any impact. He was poor on the ball, looking like a lost puppy every time he had it.
Our next game is against Manchester City on Saturday, and Steve Bruce must take the 25-year-old out of the team. The front three needs freshening up, and Almiron is the most at risk. Allan Saint-Maximin impressed in flashes against Villa, while Joelinton was his usual isolated self.
When the champions arrive at St James’ Park, Bruce needs to seriously consider recalling Christian Atsu and starting him on the right over Almiron.
The former Atlanta United man is certainly talented, but his confidence has gone. He needs some time out of the starting XI to reevaluate and re-find his form. A spell out of the limelight may help him and help the team too.