Rafa Benitez reacts to Miguel Almiron's Newcastle United debut

Miguel Almiron energised Newcastle United on his debut, according to Rafa Benitez.

By Miles Starforth
Tuesday, 12 February, 2019, 08:04
Miguel Almiron.

Almiron, signed on transfer deadline day last month in a deal which could cost the club up to £21million, came off the bench in last night's 1-1 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The 24-year-old replaced Christian Atsu at Molineux, where an injury-time strike from Willy Boly cancelled out Isaac Hayden's opener.

And Benitez believes the minutes Almiron got will prove valuable as he attempts to adapt quickly to English football.

"I think it's important to understand what we are looking for, what we want to do. He was giving us energy and fresh legs, and that was important at this time," said United's manager.

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Benitez handed Sean Longstaff an eighth successive start in midfield despite having Mohamed Diame back fit.

And the 21-year-old performed well alongside Hayden, Ayoze Perez and Christian Atsu.

"They did well," Benitez told NUFC TV. "It wasn't easy for them, because after they were playing with an extra player. They needed to manage the space well.

"Atsu was helping a lot and the same with Ayoze. It was not easy, but they did well, and also, little by little, we had the composure and the time n the ball that we were looking for to control the game."

The game left Newcastle 16th in the Premier League and a point above the relegation zone.