Newcastle fans will surely be breathing a sigh of relief after striker Miguel Almiron’s comments on the rumours linking him with a move to Real Madrid.
A previous report [TyC Sports] had indicated that the 13-time European champions were keen on the Paraguay international, but speaking to reporters at a press conference, Almiron said that he knew nothing of the links.
“No, I do not know anything about that,” the 25-year-old said, as reported by the Daily Express. “For me it is an honour that such a team [Real Madrid] looks at me.
“But I knew nothing, and now I’m focused on the Copa America, and then on Newcastle.”
These comments will surely come as a big relief for Newcastle fans, since they pour cold water on any suggestions that Almiron is engaged in any kind of link with Madrid.
Based on the current predicament the Magpies could face themselves in, Almiron is the last person the club would want to lose.
According to Football Insider, Ayoze Perez is to try to push for an exit this summer and will lead a string of departures from St James Park.
Add to that the fact that – with Rafael Benitez leaving – it is very unlikely that the club will re-sign Salomon Rondon from West Brom [Newcastle Chronicle], and you already face the loss of two of last season’s most influential players.
Rondon had his best-ever season in England last season, netting 12 goals in all competitions, while Perez netted 13 times. What’s more, Rondon won – on average – 4.6 aerial duels per game in the Premier League, while Perez made 1.2 key passes and 1.2 key dribbles per game in the top flight.
So, the statistics prove how good the former pair were, and how bad it would be if both do not start next season on Tyneside. And if they lost Almiron it would be the nail in the coffin. He is the club’s record signing, having arrived from Atlanta for £21million in January.
He made 10 Premier League appearances in his first half-season before missing the final three matches due to a hamstring injury. And, looking at where Newcastle could be with the potential losses of Rondon and Perez, Almiron is expected to be the club’s go-to attacking talent next season.
He may not have lit the top flight up last term – failing to register a single goal in his 10 appearances – but he did make 1.3 key passes per game and was fouled – on average – 1.7 times per game, which shows that there is real potential if he can settle in next season.
And for that reason, there is no doubt that whoever comes in will see the Paraguay international as the club’s main man up top. In addition, despite him not showing his best in a Newcastle shirt – it is imperative they keep him.
And it is fantastic news that Almiron is not currently entertaining any thoughts about moving to the Spanish capital.