It wasn’t supposed to be like this.
After years of frugal spending, Newcastle United finally decided to go fairly big over the past 12 months, and broke their club record transfer fee not once, but twice – firstly for Miguel Almiron, and then for Brazilian hitman Joelinton.
On paper, that should have been magnificent business.
Two lively, exciting attacking players, both with big reputations and plenty of potential – things were finally going to change on Tyneside.
Except they haven’t.
Between them they have just one goal, with Almiron yet to score or assist at all during his time in England, and the rest of their stats don’t make for particularly flattering reading either.
In combination, they have averaged just 2.9 shots, 1.5 key passes, and 1.7 successful dribbles per game, as per Whoscored.
Understandably, Steve Bruce’s patience is wearing a little thin.
In fact, according to the Athletic, both players could be in danger of facing the axe.
The latest piece from Chris Waugh reads: “Bruce has already considered dropping Miguel Almiron at least twice, and there is a suspicion at Newcastle’s training ground that the manager is now contemplating whether he can remove Joelinton from the XI or at least shift him to the left in the coming weeks.”
We are fast approaching a disaster here.
The Magpies have spent in excess of £60 million on two players who are seriously threatening to go down as duds.
In fairness to Joelinton, he may just need more time, and the quality of service to him this season has hardly been stellar.
As for Almiron, however, there can be very few excuses anymore, and unless he can turn things around soon, he could be in big trouble.