Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce has admitted he is concerned over the fitness of winger Miguel Almiron ahead of the resumption of the Premier League season.
The 25-year-old has been away on international duty with his country Paraguay for the past week or so, and Bruce is worried that he won’t be fit to face Liverpool on Saturday.
“You get injuries, you pick up injuries,” he said, as per The Chronicle. “I haven’t really seen the internationals. They’re back in tomorrow.
“Almiron, obviously, is the most difficult one because he’s at the other end of the earth so we hope we can get him back on Thursday or Friday. Let’s see what condition he’s in.”
South America is, as we all know, the other end of the earth… Bruce is right to be concerned, though, because Almiron is going to be arriving back very late from international duty if he is going to face Liverpool on Saturday. To arrive back on Thursday, or even worse Friday, is leaving it very late indeed to compete against the best team in the Premier League at the minute. The Reds are going to be a tough test for Bruce’s team at the best of times, but to go up against them without arguably his most creative player will be a big concern for him. There’s no doubt that the Paraguayan isn’t going to be 100% fit and fresh for Saturday after his exploits over the international break, that’s just not realistic. The decision for Bruce now is whether he views a half-fit Almiron as a better option in attack than someone like Yoshinori Muto. He may well opt for the former, you know.