The two men have scored just one goal between them this season, despite both being bought in for big money over the past year. Macdonald certainly hasn’t been impressed.
“I have given Joelinton and Miguel Almiron time because I desperately want them to succeed but, frankly, they are coming up way short,” he wrote in his column for The Chronicle. “Joelinton is wearing the famed No 9 shirt but rarely has a strike on goal and for a big guy he missed another gilt-edged chance with his head.
“He didn’t even hit the target when totally unmarked and not for the first time this season either. As for Almiron he missed an absolute sitter early doors when it was easier to score but panicked and struck the keeper. These two are the costliest players in United’s history for goodness sake but their goal threat is hardly encouraging a notoriously tight Mike Ashley to splash cash in January on strikers who can score. United have shelled out £61m for a very poor return so far.”
There’s no doubt that these two players have been amongst the most disappointing in the Premier League so far this season. They were both signed for big fees, but have failed to deliver on the club’s investment so far this campaign. When you examine the statistics, it tells you that neither player has done enough. As per WhoScored.com, Joelinton is averaging 2.2 shots per game, a decent tally, but clearly he is getting very little return for his efforts. He needs to be more clinical, something Macdonald picked up on as well. Surprisingly, given that Almiron is supposed to be the playmaker out of the two, it’s the Brazilian who is averaging more key passes – 1.3 to 0.3 per game. Almiron is dribbling far more and therefore is picking up more fouls, but he is being caught offside 1.5 times per contest on average, which simply isn’t good enough for a Premier League player. The unsuccessful touches of the two are quite staggering. Almiron is averaging 3.7 per game, while Joelinton is even worse at 4.3.