The national newspaper has given every Premier League team a grade for how they have begun the new campaign, with the Magpies’ C reflecting their upswing in form of late.
Describing their season, the report states: “Improving. Seven points above the drop zone isn’t anything to shout home about, but some perspective is needed. Of course, [Steve] Bruce has spent more handsomely than [Rafael] Benitez was ever able to, such as on £40m Joelinton, which will be held up against him in the long-run. For now, though, Newcastle appear to be on the right path.”
However, winger Miguel Almiron has been deemed their worst player: “Lots of hype still swirls around the £20m Paraguayan, who is yet to settle in the north east.”
Firstly, to Almiron. The Paraguay international has really failed to get going this term, although he has improved a bit recently. It’s all relative, of course, but Almiron has performed better since fellow winger Allan Saint-Maximin came back into the team. Despite that, though, he is still yet to really find his feet in a black and white shirt. There are some signs for encouragement, but overall it’s been a dispiriting few months for the 25-year-old. The statistics tell us that he really needs to improve. As per WhoScored.com, Almiron has failed to score or grab an assist in the Premier League, while he is averaging just 0.6 key passes and 0.9 successful dribbles per game. Then there’s his tally of 1.8 shots per outing on average, which highlights his wastefulness in front of goal. As for Newcastle’s C grade, that seems fair. Last month it would have been a lot worse, of course, but Bruce’s men have rounded into form in the last few weeks, with back-to-back victories over West Ham United and Bournemouth a highlight.