By 90Min
September 23, 2019

Not since 2005 has a player arrived at St James' Park with the kind of hype and expectation as Miguel Almiron. Newcastle United shattered their ancient transfer record to bring the Paraguayan to the Premier League, but things haven't gone to plan.

With Atlanta United in Major League Soccer, Almiron was one of the most exciting midfielders around. In his final season, he racked up 12 goals and 13 assists, and the hope was that he would replicate that kind of form after his £20m move to Newcastle.

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However, in 16 games for the Magpies, Almiron is yet to bag a goal or an assist. We're not saying it's a crisis just yet, but the 25-year-old's career is perilously close to nosediving off a cliff.

The problem is, not only is Almiron failing to perform, but he is actually making Newcastle worse. He has missed some great chances to score against teams towards the bottom of the league - notably during Saturday's draw with Brighton - and that's costing Steve Bruce's side points.

This is not what was supposed to happen to the most expensive MLS export in history. Everything he has done so far has suggested that he can't hang in a top league, which does not bode well for the future.

Adding Joelinton this summer was supposed to help, but all that has done is amplify Almiron's struggles. He is yet to work his magic with a £40m striker, so what is it going to take to get the best out of him? At the minute, nobody knows the answer to that.

It's simple - teams in top leagues don't want players like this version of Almiron. They need midfielders to score and assist, so why would they turn to the 25-year-old? Would anybody want to spend big on a player who does not do what he is supposed to?

Yes, it can take time to adjust to a new league, but this is taking it a little too far. However, the way to hit back at all of his critics would be for Almiron to score a goal. Just one strike in the right direction could change his career.

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If that goal doesn't come soon, Newcastle will have no choice but to bench him. When that happens, it's not always easy to come back.

There are already calls from frustrated fans who have seen enough from Almiron. The descent has already begun. The clock is ticking.

Almiron needs to rediscover the magic with which he made his name, or maybe he just needs a miracle. Either way, he needs something before everyone in Europe starts to believe that the Paraguayan maybe just doesn't have what it takes to make it.

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