Ayoze Perez to get more minutes than Miguel Almiron in final 12 games
Not surprisingly, Newcastle fans are desperate to see Miguel Almiron in action.
With a team totally lacking in flair, ability to take an opponent on, as well as pace up front, little surprise that supporters are waiting with anticipation to see what the new signing can do.
A local newspaper had a poll asking whether Rafa Benitez should start Miguel Almiron against Huddersfield on Saturday.
A massive proportion said yes.
No surprise really, for two main reasons in my opinion.
Firstly, fans thinking that this could at last be an exciting player who can score and create goals.
Secondly, he has to be better/can’t be any worse than Christian Atsu and Ayoze Perez.
Atsu has scored no goals or managed any assists in the Premier League this season, whilst Perez only has three PL goals and one assist.
All a bit depressing, especially when your centre-forward is more of a target man/hold up player, rather than a natural/prolific goalscorer. Only 30 goals in close on four Premier League seasons confirms that, including six this season.
For all people will talk of hard work from Perez and Atsu, it is a massive issue in terms of the team’s inability to score goals, only Huddersfield having scored less.
Nevertheless, Rafa Benitez has adapted his tactics/formation to suit the limited resources/players he has had available to him. So the hard work of Perez and Atsu has been a key part of his strategy of trying to keep clean sheets and rely on sneaking the odd goal.
There is nothing to suggest Miguel Almiron won’t work hard going backwards as well as forwards but with his ability/threat, it definitely will mean more desire to attack if/when he does play, meaning not quite as tight at the back.
I’m all for that and I’m sure Rafa Benitez is, just maybe not in the very near future.
If Almiron had been signed at the very start of the January window and had been available for the three FA Cup matches, then it would have been an easy option for Rafa to play him in those games. Get the new signing some football and up to speed, whilst at the same time Benitez could judge better then the pros and cons of playing the Paraguayan in key Premier League matches.
For starters, I don’t think Miguel Almiron will start against either Huddersfield and Burnley.
These are key relegation clashes where the manager will want his tried and tested players/formation out, tried and tested anyway in terms of knowing what he will get from them. In fact, I would think it is far more likely the new signing would get his first start maybe away at West Ham after the two home games, a match where points aren’t so expected.
I also believe that Rafa will think anyway that he’d get more out of Miguel Almiron as an impact sub for 20 or 25 minutes in each of the Huddersfield and Burnley games, especially when the opposition are tiring a little. A opposed to starting him and probably only getting 60 or 70 minutes out of him.
If as I believe Almiron is on the bench on Saturday, the last thing we need if Newcastle are struggling to score, or even worse go behind, is for the fans to get restless and be demanding the new signing is brought on regardless.
We have seen far too many players arrive from abroad and be played too much too soon, without having a chance to settle/integrate first. Rafa Benitez has already shown he is brave enough to do what he thinks is right.
A lot of fans won’t be happy with the idea of Ayoze Perez, and even perhaps Christian Atsu as well, getting more minutes on the pitch than Miguel Almiron in these final 12 games.
However, that may well be the case and Newcastle fans have to stick with the manager and his selections no matter what.
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