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Friendly against Japan highlighted Almiron's problems in central areas

Miguel Almiron of Newcastle taps his wrist as he complains about Norwich time wasting during the Premier League match between Norwich City and Newcastle United at Carrow Road on August 17,...

Miguel Almiron's signing brought in a wave of excitement around Newcastle United in January but the Paraguayan has struggled to find the net.

Kento Hashimoto of Japan and Miguel Almiron of Paraguay compete for the ball during the international friendly match between Japan and Paraguay at Kashima Soccer Stadium on September 05,...

Miguel Almiron's performance for Newcastle United in the first two games of the season wasn't quite what Magpies would have hoped for. The Paraguayan was deployed centrally to play just off of Joelinton but that seemed to take away all his strengths. 

The 25-year-old's pace electric pace, acceleration and ability to get away from people with considerable ease makes him a perfect winger and that is exactly where he played under Rafa Benitez for Newcastle last season.

However, his positional change has clearly been detrimental to his and the team's attacking performance and the same was evident again with his shocking display against Japan. 


Almiron was deployed centrally again in an attacking midfield position and he struggled massively to find some space. Japan identified the danger very quickly and cramped him up for room as soon as he got the ball which made him lose possession on multiple occasions. 

Japan's overall dominance in the game didn't do Almiron's performance any favours but it could have been a different game had he been deployed on the wings. The Samurai Blue's full-backs were extremely attacking for most parts of the game which opened up a ton of space on both the flanks. 

Almiron, with his incredible ability to exploit space with his pace, could have done some serious damage to Japan's defence but him occupying a central role turned out to be a disappointment for himself as well as his country. 

Paraguay's forward Miguel Almiron (C) runs for the ball past Japan's defender Naomichi Ueda (L) and midfielder Kou Itakura during the international friendly football match between Japan...

Almiron started the last two Premier League games out on the wings and Newcastle weren't defeated in either of the games. Although this statistic may seem to be coincidental, it makes a lot of sense considering that losing possession out wide is far less dangerous than doing the same in the centre of the park. 

Playing the Paraguayan on either flank brings out the best in him which in turn brings the best out of the team. Steve Bruce would have kept an eye on Almiron's performance for his country and that should convince him of the fact that playing him centrally would be a waste of his talents.

Steve Bruce, Manager of Newcastle United reacts after a challenge on Miguel Almiron of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United at...

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