Former Newcastle United coach John Carver revealed that he had closely watched Magpies attacker Miguel Almiron ahead of his arrival at St James Park.
The ex-Toon figure revealed Almiron impressed him when playing for Atlanta United in the MLS and suggested the Magpies’ staff studied how the American side got the best from him.
However, Carver then added that Newcastle boss Steve Bruce should consider dropping Almiron for a few games.
“I watched Almiron play closely in the MLS and I think when I saw him playing out there, his movement was good, his finishing was good and he used to set up players and get in the right areas,” said Carver on talkSPORT (8:35am, November 11th, Thursday).
“And I think it might be time for the staff to have look at what he did at Atlanta and the positions he got into, so I think he is a good player, I think Maximin is a good player, I think it’s time for one of those if not two of those to have a little bit of a rest.”
Steve Harmison then told Carver he thought Almiron wasn’t driving forward against Aston Villa on Monday and asked if that was a sign which suggested he should be dropped.
“I think so, you forget how young he is as well and he does look like he has the world on his shoulders at the moment,” Carver replied.
“The thing is you see, what fans saw, the manager saw and certainly you saw the other night, he does put in a great shift, we always moaned about players who didn’t work hard enough for the team, but certainly this player does work hard for the team.
“But his body language is starting to show his slump in form, and it may just be the right time to pull him out of the firing line.
“Come on, he’s coming up against Man City, one of the best teams in the world, so it’s going to be difficult for him.
“Sometimes in adversity players step forward, but I think it’s time now.”
Carver ultimately ends up saying that Almiron should be dropped for the lunchtime kick-off against Manchester City on Saturday, and it’s not the worst idea. The 25-year-old is struggling to score against the likes of Aston Villa, see Monday, so on paper it does seem unlikely that he’ll be able to get his first goal for the club against Man City. However, it is worth noting Pep Guardiola’s defence currently aren’t at full strength. In fact, Guardiola ended up playing the ageing Nicolas Otamendi and Fernandinho at centre-half against Shaktar Donestk in midweek, and surely Almiron’s blistering pace would see him get the best of that duo. The 25-year-old has been able to use his pace to get into good positions this season, he has averaged 1.7 shots per game across his 13 league outings (Source: WhoScored), but just needs that little bit of luck when it comes to hitting the back of the net. Also regarding Carver’s remarks on what the Magpies’ staff must do, surely they’ve already watched clips of Almiron playing for Atlanta in a bid to find a solution for his goalless rut by now?