Newcastle and their respected then-manager Rafael Benítez in January broke a club transfer record that had stood for almost 14 years, since the £16m Michael Owen arrived from Real Madrid, to recruit Miguel Almirón for £20m from Atlanta United of MLS. The Paraguay international made a promising start to his career in the Premier League, contributing to Newcastle’s promising conclusion to 2018/19, but Benítez’s departure and the appointment of Steve Bruce as his successor has contributed to a change in the demands placed upon him.
Where he was once so effectively supporting Salomón Rondón, their lone striker, he is attempting to build an understanding with Joelinton – who at £40m succeeded him as Newcastle’s record signing – within a significantly different team. The demonstrations of Almirón’s abilities in his first few months at the club had contributed to hopes he would emerge as their most influential player throughout 2019/20, but if he was previously ready to continue impressing, he has had to adjust to the approach being applied by Bruce.
Almirón may yet do exactly that as he continues to settle in England – some of the Premier League’s finest imports have also required more than a year before performing to their best – and it should not be overlooked that he is featuring alongside teammates who have even less experience of English football. Inspiring his finest form could even make or break Newcastle’s season.