This Newcastle United player has shown his class – on and off the pitch
Grealish used the phrase “playing like Almiron” as a slur as he celebrated Manchester City’s title win last season.
And the midfielder addressed the comment – and the backlash from Newcastle United fans – while on England duty at the World Cup in Qatar.
Of course, “playing like Almiron” means something very different now. Almiron was outstanding for his club before the Premier League paused for the World Cup.
The midfielder, playing in what had been seen in the summer as a “problem” position on the right side of United’s attack, has scored eight goals so far this season for the third-placed club.
Almiron showed his class earlier this month when asked about Grealish’s comments. The 28-year-old praised Grealish as a “great player” – and said he would shake his hand when Newcastle next face City.
Grealish blamed his “stupid” comment on the drinks he’d had that day as he celebrated City’s latest Premier League triumph.
“That was one thing I regret,” said the 27-year-old in Doha. “When I said earlier that sometimes I do stupid stuff, that was one. I regret that. I swear, I’m actually buzzing the way he’s reacted.
“He said something about me in the interview, he wished me the best. I thought ‘what a guy, man’ because if that was me and somebody had said that about me, I’d have probably been the other way.
"I’m actually buzzing for him, I’ve had a lot of stick off the Newcastle fans – and rightly so. At the end of the day, they are backing their player, which I fully understand. He seems like the most harmless, nice guy, so fair play, I’m buzzing for him.”
United fans have been buzzing about Almiron all season. The Paraguay international, signed in January 2019 by then-manager Rafa Benitez, has added goals to his game this season after a relatively couple of seasons. This end product has been a bonus for Howe, who had hoped to sign another winger in the summer.
By contrast, Grealish netted only once in the Premier League before linking up with the England squad.
Almiron has shown the way for Grealish on and off the pitch this season. Hopefully, Grealish, in future, will let his feet do the talking.