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In Focus: Almiron is acing Toon test after Jack attack
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Dan Fitch
Miguel Almiron is Newcastle's top scorer this season
Miguel Almiron is Newcastle's top scorer this season

Newcastle’s Miguel Almiron may well be the most improved player in the Premier League. 

The Paraguay international has scored nine top-flight goals this season, which is as many as he had previously managed since joining the club in 2019. 

Newcastle are flying in third place in the Premier League and still involved in both domestic cups, with Almiron a key reason for their success. 

Ahead of their FA Cup third-round match at Sheffield Wednesday, we take a look at the Paraguayan's belated career progression. 

Grealish comments

Almiron’s reputation as a player without an end product had seen him mocked by Jack Grealish at the end of last season. 

In a video following Manchester City’s title win, Bernardo Silva asked Grealish for his take on the reasons behind their final day comeback against Aston Villa. 

Grealish began: "There were two secrets. One, Riyad [Mahrez], take him off the pitch, as soon as possible. He played like Almiron."

Though it is doubtful that those words acted as any sort of impetus for Almiron's form this season, there is certainly an irony to their respective situations. 

The forward is Newcastle’s top scorer in the Premier League with nine goals, while Grealish has only scored seven times in all competitions since joining Manchester City in 2021. 

Late breakthrough

Miguel Almiron had a strong scoring record with Atlanta United in the MLS
Miguel Almiron had a strong scoring record with Atlanta United in the MLS

This is easily Almiron’s best season in front of goal, even accounting for his earlier years spent playing at a lower level. 

The first six years of his career in Paraguay and then Argentina saw Almiron score just 10 times in 86 appearances. 

His 22 strikes in 70 games in the United States with Atlanta United provided a better return, but he struggled to net in England until this late breakthrough season at 28 years old. 

Howe’s work

Almiron’s first goal at Newcastle came after a barren run of 26 matches which saw him take 47 unsuccessful shots. 

So the current incarnation must come as a shock to Toon supporters. It is not just the volume of goals, but the confidence he now shows with his finishing. 

A big reason for the change in the quality at St James' Park can be directly linked to the arrival of Eddie Howe. 

The former Bournemouth boss was said to be impressed with Almiron’s work-rate and pace when he arrived at Newcastle.

He set about finding a way to get more end product from a player, who could offer so much in terms of pressing and providing defensive cover for Kieran Trippier on the right flank. 

Almiron was tasked with improving his movement off the ball and made to study the runs of wide forwards who were regular goalscorers. 

He responded with six pre-season goals before bursting into life in October, when he began a run of seven Premier League strikes in as many games. 

Competition key

Howe has spoken out about the evolution of Almiron, which is serving as a major advert for the manager’s meticulous coaching methods. 

The former Bournemouth boss said: "When I arrived I think Ryan Fraser was playing very well, so that competition I think was really important actually for Miggy. 

"I think it made him go away and reflect, get his head down and really graft and work to win his place back. I think once he has won his place back he’s been outstanding. 

"There’s never any doubt that his future was going to be here. I think his work ethic and commitment to the team was always evident in my eyes."

Almiron’s response to the competition in Newcastle’s squad bodes well for his future. With the club likely to continue to invest heavily in improving their options, only the strongest will survive. 

Aced test

Eddie Howe has had a big impact on Miguel Almiron's form at Newcastle
Eddie Howe has had a big impact on Miguel Almiron's form at Newcastle

Over the summer Newcastle were looking to bring in a right-sided forward. Almiron’s form makes that less of a priority. 

It is certainly hard to think of anyone that the Magpies could realistically sign right now who could offer as much to the team.

Champions League qualification could change that situation. 

A challenge for Almiron and the rest of Newcastle’s team is to take their game to new levels as expectations grow. The winger has certainly aced that test so far. 

It may not be possible for him to carry on scoring at his current rate, but there is every sign that he can be a contributor to their long-term journey.


Newcastle UnitedPremier LeagueMiguel Almiron
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