Exclusive: Roberto Rojas on Miguel Almiron’s NUFC future, outspoken agent & Steve Bruce battles

It’s been a busy few months for Miguel Almiron.

The former MLS star began 2021 by thriving behind split strikers in a 4-3-1-2 formation that followed Graeme Jones’ arrival, but was soon on the sidelines after suffering a suspected knee ligament injury.

Thankfully, he was back at it before long – only to be moved into an unfamiliar midfield role after Bruce stuck by a 5-3-2 formation for the remainder of 2020/21.

We survived and a well-earned rest was coming his way, but not for long as he jetted off to South America to compete in Copa America with Paraguay.

His tournament ended early, with a hamstring injury ruling him out of their quarter final defeat to Peru last week, and we’ve since spoken to Paraguayan-American journalist Roberto Rojas about his season at St James’ Park, his busy summer and those exit rumours fuelled by his agent at the back end of last year:

1. Firstly, how did Almiron get on with Paraguay at this summer’s Copa America?

In my personal opinion, he’s been finding his feet playing in an attacking side.

It took a while for him to get rolling, but he’s been effective and crucial to Paraguay’s style of play and results in the competition.

“Being able to play in his current role behind the striker, utilising his pace and passing ability, has been important – especially in the win against Chile where he scored a penalty and got an assist.

2. What have you made of his performances in a black and white shirt over the 2020/21 season?

“Very inconsistent.

“Under Steve Bruce, Almiron has been trying to find a place in his system and it didn’t work to the best of his ability.

“Although he did get a couple of goals last season, it remains to be seen what he is able to do when he’s playing in his best position in a consistent manner.

“Perhaps his form has dipped just a bit in comparison to the last few seasons but he’s still an important player for Newcastle United.”

3. One issue many fans have is that Steve Bruce has played him in four or five different positions since he came in – yet it’s pretty clear he’s at his best as a no.10! Do you believe he’s being wasted under the current manager?

“Yes and playing in five different positions is clearly the issue of Steve Bruce and how he’s managed the team and where Almiron suits best.

“He is repeatedly shifted around to accommodate others but rarely kept in his preferred position as a number 10.

“If he’s not playing in a preferred position where he utilises the best of his talents then we won’t see a player that can be as effective.

“It’s so difficult to stay consistent during an entire season when you’re being played in multiple positions and being asked to do much more than you are expected.”

4. Almiron’s agent, Daniel Campos, made some bold claims about a potential summer move for Miggy at the back end of 2020. What did you make of those comments?

“I think the comments were definitely a demonstration of an agent looking out for his client.

“Obviously, the key piece in this saga is what Almiron thinks and thankfully he’s always been keeping a cool head showing his happiness at Newcastle and it shows his attitude as a player and person.”

5. Do you think Almiron will still be a Newcastle United player when the 2021/22 Premier League season kicks off & what are your thoughts about his long term future on Tyneside?

“Yes and it will all depend on his performances and how much Newcastle are willing to accept an offer given how much money was paid for him to go there.

“I think he would want to continue his consistency in performances for club and country that right now when he’s in the prime of his career, he’s ready to make that next jump if need be.

“Of course, whatever happens at Newcastle from an administrative point of view will also be crucial.”

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan, he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC!

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