Newcastle Watching Prolific Striker But Can He Make The Step Up

Miguel Almiron joined Newcastle from Atlanta United this past January in what was then a record transfer for the club. Newcastle had been scouting the Paraguayan playmaker for some time before finally sealing the deal.

Miguel had just come off winning the MLS Title in December 2018 and was one of the MLS’s brightest talents. However, it was his teammate Josef Martinez who was the most valuable player in the MLS that season. Martinez scored 35 goals in 39 appearances across all competitions during Atlanta’s title-winning campaign.

Martinez has carried his form into this season where he has maintained his high conversion rate with 31 goals in 35 appearances. Atlanta is again flying-high in the Eastern Conference table in third place.

The Chronicle have a report this morning declaring that Newcastle are tracking the 26-year-old Venezuelan. They most likely will have kept tabs on Martinez when they were scouting Almiron last year.

Martinez joined Atlanta United from Torino in Italy’s Serie A for $5m in 2017. Since joining the MLS, he has scored 86 goals in 95 appearances.

However, he never had anything close to that strike rate at any of his other clubs. For Torino, he managed just 13 goals in 76 games though he did at times play on the wing.

Before joining Torino in 2014, Martinez played in Switzerland for Young Boys and was on loan at FC Thun for a season. In 70 appearances over two years in the Swiss League, the Venezuelan international only scored 13 times.

Martinez has also appeared 54 times for his country with 12 goals where he recently is being used as a late substitute for former Magpie Salomon Rondon.

We have to wonder if Newcastle will go back to the same well twice for attacking talent. Miguel Almiron has had a decent start to his Newcastle career but has yet to score or produce an assist. We do, however, feel Miguel brings a lot to this team and has been a solid addition.

Atlanta will not want to lose their superstar goalscorer, and as we found with Almiron, they are very tough negotiators.

We are not sold on Martinez as being able to make the step up to the Premier League. He has only found this rich vein of form in the MLS while being quite average elsewhere.

He also relies on teammates to supply him, and at Atlanta, there has been no shortage of providers. However, Newcastle do not create many chances, and Martinez may not contribute enough in other areas to justify a hefty transfer fee.

Here is an apt tactical analysis of Martinez from Major League Soccer News.

This article was originally posted here