Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce celebrated with Jonjo Shelvey

Newcastle United playmaker Miguel Almiron is a “brilliant” player who needs to be watched live to fully appreciate.

That is according to Alex Bruce, the just-retired defender, 35, and son of Magpies manager Steve Bruce speaking exclusively to Football Insider.

Almiron, 26, has been criticised by many observers and pundits, as well as some supporters, for his lack of cutting edge in and around the box.

But Bruce is in no doubt that the Paraguay international is a special talent who is not fully understood by armchair critics.

“When you’re a football player and you know your stuff about football, if you go and
watch him live, you realise that, in my opinion, Almiron’s a real top, top player,” Bruce told Football Insider.

“His work rate, he’s such a good teammate to have, the amount of miles he covers.

“Yes, you might want him to score more goals but you just have a look and him and think: ‘Wow, what a good player to have.’

“He takes you up the pitch, he works back, he does the ugly things brilliantly and I think he’s only just now getting the credits that he deserves because people are standing up and going, ‘he’s a bloody good player, this lad’.

“I know my dad loves him, he’s a manager’s dream with the work rate that he puts in. He turns up every single week and he tries his socks off and as a manager, you can’t ask for any more.”

Almiron has started 26 of Newcastle’s 27 league matches this season, but scored only two goals and registered just one assist despite playing solely in attacking positions.

He has added two more goals in the FA Cup but his haul of four goals and a single assist from 40 matches in all competitions for the club since his January 2019 arrival for £25million has invited criticism.

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