Eddie Howe reveals Miguel Almiron's Newcastle United motivation following Jack Grealish slur

Miguel Almiron’s highly motivated at Newcastle United this season – but not because of Jack Grealish.

Almiron took his goal tally for the season to five with a strike in Wednesday night’s 1-0 win over Everton at St James’s Park.

The midfielder has been a revelation in front of goal since scoring twice away to Benfica in the club’s pre-season campaign.

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However, Almiron was mocked by Grealish at the end of last season. The Manchester City midfielder compared a poor final-day performance from team-mate Riyad Mahrez to typical performance from Almiron.

And Eddie Howe was asked after the Everton game if Almiron – who was set up by Bruno Guimaraes for his goal – had gone into the season with extra motivation following Grealish’s slur, which was filmed and went viral online.

“I don’t think Miggy’s motivated by anything other than trying to be his best for Newcastle, for the supporters who absolutely love him,” said United’s head coach.

“For me, he’s given me everything from day one, very committed to the team. He’s a real team player. He’s getting the recognition he deserves.

Newcastle United midfielder Miguel Almiron.Newcastle United midfielder Miguel Almiron.
Newcastle United midfielder Miguel Almiron.
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“You can’t under-estimate the quality of the goals he’s delivered for us. The one against Fulham was an incredible strike. This one, Bruno’s weight of pass to him was very good.

“He was able to hit it first time. He still had so much to do. It was a great finish.”

Almiron, signed by then-manager Rafa Benitez in January 2019, has never scored more than four Premier League goals in a season.

And Howe was asked what Almiron – who only scored one goal last season, and struggled for form during Steve Bruce’s time as head coach – was doing differently this term.

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“I don’t think he’s doing anything differently,” said Howe, who is preparing his team for Sunday's game away to Tottenham Hotspur.

“He’s playing with confidence. I think he’s always been incredible out of possession. The many times I played against Newcastle, the workrate that he gives the team can’t be questioned.

“Of course, then you want product from your wide men. You want goals and assists. He’s producing the goals, and some of the goals he’s scoring are spectacular, game-changers for us.

“Really, really pleased for him on a personal level, he’s getting the recognition he deserves for everything he does for the team, and long may that continue.”

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Howe went on: “He’s been very consistent, very happy every day. Very pleased to be part of the team. Has very close friends within the squad.

“What I have noticed is a real confidence in his training, in his technical delivery of what we’re asking him to do. I think that’s definitely gone up a level.”

Almiron netted both Newcastle's goals in a 3-2 defeat to Benfica in late July.

The 28-year-old Paraguay international, signed from Atlanta United six months before Benitez’s departure from the club, has formed a strong partnership with stand-in captain Kieran Trippier on the right.

Almiron has scored 19 career goals for United.