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True Miguel Almiron impact at Newcastle United proved by revealing Sky Sports analysis

2 years ago

Newcastle fans can see with their own eyes the impact Miguel Almiron has had on the team.

Since arriving, the Paraguayan has had one sub appearance in the 1-1 draw at Wolves, then his five starts have seen three wins (Huddersfield, Everton, Burnley), the draw at Bournemouth and just the one defeat at West Ham.

Measuring impact just on basic stats can be difficult.

For example, Miguel Almiron has yet to register a goal or assist.

However, this ignores moments such as the 30 yard shot that Jordan Pickford could only parry straight back to Perez who was left with an easy finish.

Likewise, at Bournemouth the new signing broke from the edge of his own box and ran the length of the pitch with no support, before being fouled and Rondon scoring from the resultant free-kick.

Sky Sports have done some excellent analysis on Miguel Almiron and especially how he has changed the dynamic of this Newcastle team.

They make the point that ‘In MLS he was the only player last season to rank among the top 10 players for shots, chances created and completed dribbles.’

It is that ability to dribble, to carry the ball, that has made such a difference.

Last season Kenedy did it to a decent extent in the last few months of the campaign but Almiron is making a far bigger difference with his ability to link midfield and attack.

It is no coincidence that in his five starts Newcastle have scored nine goals, whilst in the first 26 matches they scored only 22 goals.

The big stat that Sky Sports have picked out, is the one showing chances created by each Newcastle player every 90 minutes.

Miguel Almiron is way highest with 2.24 chances created every 90 minutes in the Premier League, then despite not having the greatest of seasons comes Jonjo Shelvey with 1.76 chances created every 90 minutes, then Ayoze Perez on 1.52 per 90 minutes.

Chances created per 90 minutes in the Premier League as per Sky Sports stats:

2.24 Miguel Almiron

1.76 Jonjo Shelvey

1.52 Ayoze Perez

1.19 Isaac Hayden

1.11 Christian Atsu

1.00 Salomon Rondon

0.98 DeAndre Yedlin

Analyis of Miguel Almiron by Sky Sports:

‘The statistics help to quantify his impact. Creativity had been an issue all season, with only the bottom three having scored fewer goals than Benitez’s team. There are signs already that Almiron can change that because he is currently creating an average of 2.24 chances from open play per 90 minutes. That’s significantly more than any other Newcastle player.

In part, that can be explained by the team’s upturn in fortunes. They look a more expansive side now than they did at the start of the season when they went winless through their first 10 games. But even in the period since Almiron made his debut, his passes have been more creative than anyone else’s – he has a higher expected assists tally than his team-mates.

Providing that link between the midfield and the team’s target man, Salomon Rondon, has been an issue all season but Almiron is helping to solve that with his ball-carrying ability. His single-mindedness and sheer optimism in possession is getting his team up the pitch.

There is much more to Almiron’s game than that. In MLS he was the only player last season to rank among the top 10 players for shots, chances created and completed dribbles. But it is this ability to run with the ball that has been the most striking aspect of his work so far.

Newcastle supporters are relishing that. There is a huge admiration for the job that Benitez is doing and empathy too. The fans appreciate the circumstances in which the coach is working and they understood the need to fashion a functional side that could keep the club up, thus maintaining the hope that Newcastle remain attractive to prospective new owners.

But Almiron brings something different, the sense of fun that characterises this club at its best.’


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