Newcastle United

Newcastle: Benitez should not need to defend Almiron, his football is speaking for itself

Newcastle: Benitez should not need to defend Almiron, his football is speaking for itself

When Newcastle broke their long-standing transfer record in January, there was always going to be a weight upon the shoulders of Miguel Almiron, especially as some people saw it as a risky move with the player having never played in Europe.

But since he arrived, he has brought something different to a Newcastle side that would have been fairly described as resolute, but predictable.

His effervescence on the pitch is noticeable, and the only frustration that fans have had regarding his performances, is that he makes incredible runs out wide, only for Matt Ritchie to cut inside, and not give him the ball enough.

He could have scored in each of his first two home appearances, and that he didn’t was more down to bad fortune than poor finishing.

Yes, a goal would do him a world of good, but no one is concerned that he hasn’t found the net — Rondon and Perez are the two players doing so, largely thanks to his play.

It is surprising, therefore, that Rafa Benitez is having to publicly voice his support for the player.

According to the Daily Star, Rafa has said he has no worries regarding the player’s form or goal-scoring — and nor should he.

He said: “Perhaps if I asked him the specific question, he would say yes he needs a goal but I don’t think it is so important.

“You can see in the way he is playing that Miguel is happy. He is doing OK.

“And I certainly don’t see any anxiety just because he is not scoring.”

The Spaniard, still in negotiations about extending his stay at St James’ Park, was also asked about the red card Almiron received while playing for Paraguay last week.

Benitez seemed to have no doubt about him having a positive reaction to the incident — which was largely condemned, both in the press and on social media.

Rafa noted: “I saw him in the gym and he was fine and then he was enjoying himself in training.

“He is not the sort of player who would make a bad tackle on purpose. It was the situation. His team were losing and he has this energy.

“But mentally, he will be ready for Arsenal.”

That is good news for Newcastle fans, as they understand the contribution the South American has made.

They also see the lift his arrival and displays have given the team as a whole, and as long as that continues, his zero in the goal-scoring column will be of little concern.

He will break his duck, and when he does, the questions will stop. But the fact that they are being asked at all shows a lack of understanding of his contribution in a black and white shirt to date.

What do you think of Almiron, Newcastle fans? Have his performances been up to scratch for you? Let us know below…

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