Wednesday 16

Newcastle United

Bruce admits to Almiron conundrum

12th September 2019, 14:09 by Jack Ogalbe

Steve Bruce admits he is still to decide where Miguel Almiron fits best into his Newcastle side.

The Paraguayan joined from MLS side Atlanta United in January and, after taking some time to find his feet, started to show signs of promise towards the end of last season.

Rafael Benitez usually utilised him in one of the wide berths supporting Salomon Rondon, but both the Spanish coach and the Venezuelan forward have since left the club.

After the uncertainty of the summer as Rafa’s contract issues rumbled on, Bruce eventually took over on July 17.

The 58-year-old has been open enough to state he is still getting to grips with his squad after a limited pre-season, but has so far guided them to a decent return of four points from as many outings.

Almiron has started all four of those matches and has combined his undoubted guile with plenty of industry.

The 25-year-old, who played as a number 10 during his youth and in Atlanta, has been given a more central role this season, a position he clearly enjoys.

At the same time, he is yet to score for the Toon, something Bruce concedes is a concern.

“He became a free spirit at Atlanta as a No.10, an attacking midfielder,” said Bruce. “That’s the thing you label him and he’s one of them where ‘what is his best position?’ Because if you are off the striker then you have to be getting 10-12 goals a season.”

With Brazilian Joelinton up front, Almiron and his fellow South American could form a decent partnership in attack as a nine and 10.

Bruce admits it is still early days at the club for both players, but even if the combination does not continue to click, he still thinks the Asuncion-born star will have a significant impact this season due to his talent.

“He’ll be OK. As a footballer, he’s a good player,” Bruce added.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Jack Ogalbe has been working for the team since his student days, having enjoyed a successful placement. He is an avid West Ham fan but also enjoys writing on rugby union, golf, tennis and cycling.

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