With Premier League survival all but secured for next season, Newcastle United are expected to spend big in the upcoming summer transfer window as they look to build a side that is capable of competing at the right end of the table.
But before all that happens, a number of players are likely to be moved on from St. James’ Park in order to free up space and up to seven players are tipped to leave the club at the end of the season.
One in particular is playmaker Miguel Almiron, with former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan struggling to see where the Paraguayan “fits” in Eddie Howe ’s side ahead of the next campaign.
Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan said: “We’ve had moments and glimpses from him. But you’ve got to say, looking in terms of consistency and goals at the end of the season – he hasn’t done enough. The percentages and ratios don’t match.
“They’ve got to start looking now. If they’re going to rebuild now, they’re going to charge up the Premier League, they need to look at players who are a step ahead of Almiron.
"That’s why they’ve got the richest owners in the world, to spend big money on the cream of the crop in order to realise their dreams and aspirations at the top of the table. They will already be looking and planning ahead of this transfer window now, and unfortunately for Almiron – I can’t see how he fits in next season.”
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Almiron joined from Atlanta United on deadline day during the January transfer window in 2019 for a reported £20million, agreeing a five-year contract. This made him the most expensive MLS player in history as Newcastle agreed a club-record fee.
The 28-year-old had a bit of a slow start to life at St. James’ Park and, following an injury during the remainder of the 2018-19 season, he was limited to just 10 Premier League appearances for the club, but went on to record 81 in all competitions across his next two campaigns.
Four top flight goals in consecutive seasons between 2019-20 and 2020-21 has hardly been inspiring but the Paraguayan has shown in glimpses what he is capable of. However, as of the current campaign, he has struggled to hold down a starting spot under Eddie Howe.
Almiron has featured in 21 of Newcastle’s 28 Premier League games and did, in fact, start the last match for his club - a 1-0 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday as the Magpies saw their nine-game unbeaten run come to an end.
That perhaps shows there is some light at the end of the tunnel for the Paraguay international, although it remains to be seen whether he can hold onto the starting spot ahead of the final 10 matches of the season.
But, with two-years still remaining on Almiron's contract, the Magpies could look to cash in on the player they once broke their transfer record for.