South American football journalist claims Miguel Almiron IS a No.10 despite Steve Bruce's claims otherwise
How do you solve a problem like Miguel Almiron? Or is the Paraguayan the solution for Newcastle United rather than the cause of issues?
We’ve spoken to Paraguayan/American journalist Roberto Rojas, of beIN SPORTS USA, about the Magpies conundrum – and how if they play to Almiron’s natural strengths, they have a real player on their hands.
But Rojas also believes the player might well have regrets about joining crisis club United, with fears in the Americas that Almiron is damaging his career long-term.
Here’s a Q&A with the Paraguayan football expert.
Q: This week we saw head coach Steve Bruce talk about Almiron as an ‘inside forward’ and not a No.10. What do you make of Bruce’s latest comments?
A: “I would personally say that his false considering that’s essentially the position that he’s best suited at. During the course of his career, he’s always been more seen as a natural
No. 10 which his former manager Tata Martino at Atlanta said before.”
Q: On that note, what do you believe is Almiron’s true position?
A: “For me, while playing under Rafa Benitez, he played at left wing but was able to use him properly by creating chances, I still think in the middle is where he’s best suited where
he can string forward passes towards the striker and go into the space where he’s able to go at fast pace towards defenders.”
Q: The player’s confidence and particularly his finishing have come under scrutiny this season, is this an issue he’s had before? Can Bruce get the best out of Almiron?
A: “Unless he plays in the same position he has been on the right, absolutely not. I just don’t see how Almiron and Newcastle can move forward being wasted in a position that
doesn’t function him by being able to go in diagonally from the right wing, that’s my issue.”
Q: How big an impact has the departure of Rafa Benitez been on Almiron’s career in England?
A: “I think it was a huge impact, considering that he was a player that was scouted and personally bought by Benitez. For him to be stripped of the manager that bought him
makes it a bit difficult of a change, not just for him but for Newcastle fans.”
Q: Can Almiron be a success in England?
A: “I think he can be if he’s given the tools and is able to play in the position best suited for him. I’m still confident he can do something in England.”
Q: What is the view of Almiron back in the US and Paraguay?
A: “For some in the States, they feel sorry and actually want to get him back at Atlanta. They were excited at first when he moved because of the experience of playing in the Premier League, but now after seeing the way he’s been playing and the way the team has been dysfunctional, in a way they feel sorry that he’s been wasted at Newcastle and feel it’s ruining his career by making the jump to such a club. In Paraguay, it’s a similar story given how useful he is as the national team’s most important player.”