Miguel Almiron has endured a strange start to life on Tyneside.
Brought in in January for a then club-record fee, the Paraguayan playmaker immediately looked like a real live wire, elevating the players around him and forming an exciting attacking triumvirate alongside Ayoze Perez.
Last year he averaged 1.9 shots on goal and 1.3 key passes per match in the Premier League, as per Whoscored.
For all of that promise, however, the 24-year-old has yet to register a goal or an assist in black and white, and now that Perez and Rondon have both moved on, there is a different kind of pressure on his shoulders.
Joelinton has been brought in from Hoffenheim and Allan Saint-Maximin from Nice, but suddenly Almiron finds himself as the old hand in this Toon attack, and he really needs to start stepping up to the plate.
So far this term though, he has failed to do so.
Still goalless and yet to assist a teammate, he has seen his shots per game drop to 1.5 and his key passes plummet to 0.5 per game.
In fairness, the side around have failed to perform thus far, but the reason Almiron was brought in was to make magic out of thin air.
He is the principle creator in this team, and he needs to start acting like it.
Sunday’s clash with Tottenham will not be an easy game, make no mistake, but the Magpies need to start putting points in the board, and cannot afford to be accepting that they have lost matches before they even kick off.
Having Almiron on song would go a long way to quelling some of the negativity surrounding St. James’ Park at the moment, but unless he starts to affecting games with actual end product, he is going to begin looking like a very expensive flop.
This article was originally posted here