Miguel Almiron is yet to score a goal or supply an assist for Newcastle United since Rafa Benitez signed the Paraguay attacker from Atlanta United in the January transfer window.
However Atlanta president Darren Eales has suggested that once Almiron, 25, eventually ends his worrying lack of goals, it should open the floodgates.
Newcastle broke their transfer record to sign Almiron for around £20million in January but after 18 appearances in all competitions, the attacking midfielder is yet to make any contribution towards a goal.
Former Tottenham director Eales believes that his day will come soon though as he remembers Almiron having a similar run at Atlanta.
“It took Migie a little bit of time to find his feet when he made the move from Paraguay to the Argentinian league and the same with us in our first MLS season,” said Eales at the Leaders in Sport Summit, as quoted by the Mirror.
“He was unbelievable but he missed a few chances. He went eight games without scoring and had not scored at home and you could feel it getting pent up a little bit.”
Eales added: “His pace with the ball is incredible. I always likened it to Gareth Bale from my time at Spurs – he always seems quicker when he has got the ball than without the ball. It is about confidence.
“I just hope he can get that first goal and then they will come in waves.”
It is not just the lack of goals and assists that is worrying about Almiron, it’s his overall play. Whether that is down to the way he has been played by Steve Bruce this season or the fact that he is simply not good enough for the Premier League, we are still yet to really find out but it’s safe to say that right now, he is not playing the way he did in Major League Soccer for Atlanta. According to WhoScored, Almiron ranks 11th in the Newcastle squad for average key passes per match. He has averaged a pitiful 0.4, which is fewer than defensive-minded midfielders like Ki Sung-yueng [0.7] and Isaac Hayden [0.6]. Almiron has also averaged the same number of shots at goal per match as centre-back Fabian Schar [1.4]. Almiron should be leading the way in these areas due to where he plays on the pitch and the killer instinct he showcased at Atlanta. For Newcastle’s sake, Eales is hopefully right about him opening the floodgates once he does get that first goal.