This Newcastle United player's physical stats are 'breathtaking'

Miguel Almiron’s been brought “back to life” at Newcastle United – by a tactical change.
Miguel Almiron celebrates a goal at The Hawthorns.Miguel Almiron celebrates a goal at The Hawthorns.
Miguel Almiron celebrates a goal at The Hawthorns.

Almiron, given a free role behind the striker for the club’s last two games, scored two goals in Tuesday night’s 3-2 FA Cup win over West Bromwich Albion.

And the hard-working midfielder, previously played on the right, will start against Southampton at the St Mary’s Stadium this afternoon as the club’s leading scorer with six goals in all competitions.

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“It should be a given that they all work, but his physical stats are quite breathtaking,” said head coach Steve Bruce.

“It was West Ham away when he broke all sorts of records. He trains every day, he comes in with a smile, and he’s first in. He’s nine stone dripping wet – if he’s that. But he’s a manager’s delight.

“He’s a good player, and I think we’ve brought him back to life a little bit playing in his best position. For me, his best position is certainly as a No.10.

“Unfortunately, because of the system we’ve had, we’ve tended to play him from the side. But this has certainly helped him, and means arguably our best player is playing in his best position.”

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Almiron, a Paraguay international, joined the club last January from Atlanta United in a club-record £21million deal.

“He’s playing at the highest level now, and he’s an international footballer and all the rest of it,” said Bruce.

“I think he lit Newcastle up before I came here – last January he was the big tonic that everybody needed. He then got injured, but for 12 months or so, I think everybody had been wishing him a goal.

“He’s a really, really good player. Unfortunately, if you play in his position, you get judged on goals, which for me isn’t quite right because since I’ve been here, he’s been very, very good. He’s a wonderful team player.

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“I certainly think we’re better with Almiron in his favoured position. Almiron’s favoured position for me is off the front – and given hat free role.

“Against Burnley, I think he was a threat, and putting him to the side in a system we were playing waned his threat.”