Darren Bent admits he is “desperate” to see Newcastle United attacker Miguel Almiron break his barren spell after another ineffectual performance against Aston Villa.

The former Villa and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, says that he believes the Paraguayan international has the potential to become a quality player for Steve Bruce’s side but that his lack of goals and assists are weighing him down.

Almiron, who arrived at St James’ Park from Atlanta United during the January transfer window, was unable to contribute anything meaningful against Villa on Monday night, meaning his run without a goal or assist now stands at 22 games.

Bent says that he sees the South American maestro becoming a valuable player for Newcastle but only if he can find a way to deliver in the final third of the pitch, insisting he has been the Magpies’ most disappointing player so far this season.

Bent told Football Insider: “I think the unluckiest player at the club goes to Almiron. I am so desperate for him to score because I really believe him and (Allan) Saint-Maximin give them the edge.

“They get up the pitch in a hurry and that will help Joelinton. Once them two get goals – not Saint-Maximin, because I think he’d play like that anyway, he’s full of confidence – but I think Almiron, he’s just desperate for that goal.

“When he gets that goal, he’ll get more confidence and start to motor forward, that will help Joelinton because he’ll get more and more chances. He has disappointed me.”

Newcastle’s 2-0 defeat to Villa, Conor Hourihane and Anwar El Ghazi grabbing the goals for Dean Smith’s men, leaves the Magpies sitting 14th in the Premier League table after 13 games, five points clear of the relegation zone.

However, Bruce’s men have the worst goal difference outside of the bottom three with the joint-second least number of goals scored this season.

In other Newcastle United news, Football Insider can reveal that Bruce has given the green light for a regular under Rafael Benitez to leave the club.