Miguel Almiron is finally off the mark. While the first goal still eludes him, he got his first Newcastle assist in the 2-2 draw with Manchester City.
His neat pass found Jetro Willems, who fired low past Ederson to draw the Magpies level after Raheem Sterling’s opener.
It was a big moment for Almiron, who has been under pressure to start delivering in the final third almost a year on from his record breaking move from Atlanta United. It’s amazing that it’s took him this long to get an assist, but hopefully it’s the first of many.
However, he could very easily have got another assist against the champions. The Paraguayan played a near perfect ball across the box, only for no Newcastle player to get on the end of it. In fact, it didn’t seem like a Newcastle player was even busting a gut to get in there. Almiron proved he has the quality, but someone has to be in the box to get a chance.
There was a big similarity between these two moments of quality from Almiron – they both came from the left flank.
Under Rafa Benitez, Almiron played on the left of the front three. He created multiple chances and looked dangerous. His influence has waned under Steve Bruce, who has insisted on using him on the right of attack instead. Meanwhile, Allan Saint-Maximin plays on the left, another player who is without a goal in black and white.
In the moments he veered over to the left, Almiron proved he can create. Yet throughout the rest of the game in his usual position, he was unable to create anything as clear cut.
Saint-Maximin is clearly suited to coming inside, which has forced Miggy to the opposite wing. But Bruce must see the impact Almiron can have on the left.
He must make the change against Sheffield United on Thursday night, even if it’s just for a 20 minute spell. We have two very talented wingers, but one of them is being stifled by his position. If both he and Saint-Maximin have more freedom to swap wings, our attack could become much more potent.