Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas has praised Newcastle United winger Miguel Almiron, but believes some areas of his game need work.
The Paraguay international is still yet to score for the club, but did put in an improved effort against West Ham United last time out. The Magpies welcome Bournemouth to St James’ Park on Saturday, a game Nicholas expects to end up in a 2-2 stalemate.
“I know Steve Bruce likes to play attacking football, but he cannot do so with this team,” he wrote on the Sky Sports website. “Miguel Almiron is like a little whippet who cannot slow down to finish.
“The fans love him as he is energetic, which I do like about him, but the other phases of his play need to come sharpish. Allan Saint-Maximin is skilful and unpredictable, while Jonjo Shelvey is back in the team. Bournemouth can go anywhere and play well, as shown with the Manchester United game. They are a very dangerous side and will cause problems once again.”
There’s no doubt that Almiron’s game needs some improvement in certain areas. He is energetic and extremely hard-working, as Nicholas says, but as an attacking player his production in the final third just hasn’t been up to scratch in a black and white shirt. The statistics from this season demonstrate as much. As per WhoScored.com, the 25-year-old has failed to score a goal or provide an assist for Newcastle this campaign. Furthermore, he is averaging just 0.5 key passes per game, which demonstrates a lack of creativity, and an average of 1.6 shots per outing, which proves that his finishing needs to improve drastically. He is also averaging just 0.9 dribbles per game, a shockingly low tally considering his unbelievable pace. There’s no doubt that he is a talented player, and he did show signs of life against the Hammers last time out, but he needs to improve his end product sharpish. As for the Bournemouth game, that’s a tough one to call. The Cherries are a dangerous side, but Newcastle have looked better of late. Perhaps a draw is the correct prediction, here.