By Noel Whelan

11th Oct, 2019 | 4:13pm

Exclusive: Pundit rips into Newcastle big name only 'playing at 70%'

Noel Whelan has blasted Newcastle United attacker Miguel Almiron after he got sent off for Paraguay in their 1-0 loss to Serbia on Thursday.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Laura O’Leary, the ex-Coventry City and Leeds United attacker shared that he thought the 25-year-old was playing at only 70 per cent of what he is capable of for Steve Bruce’s side and his latest international display would have done nothing for his confidence.

Almiron received his marching orders when playing for Paraguay on Thursday after picking up a second yellow card for simulation in the 54th minute of the match.

Whelan pointed out how getting sent off was another kick in the teeth for the goalless Magpies attacker and that while Bruce is probably going to keep the faith with him for now, that will not always be the case.

“He’s got a lot of work to do, he’s obviously not gone away with international duty and got his confidence back that way, if anything it’s another kick in the teeth for him,” Whelan told Football Insider.

“So he’s gotta find it somewhere, you know when you’re down and lower than a snake’s belly, it tests the character in a player.

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“Steve Bruce is probably going to keep faith with him but he’s gotta start repaying that as he has been brought in to do a job and he’s probably playing at 70% of what he is capable of, and that can only go on so long before there’s a change.”

Almiron joined the Magpies from Atlanta United in January 2019 for £20million and despite playing 18 times for the club, he is yet to score a goal or register an assist.

In his last season at Atlanta in 2018, the attacking midfielder scored 13 goals while assisting 13 during the 38 appearances he made for the MLS club.

In other Newcastle United news, Darren Bent was left bowled over by one Magpie who he would hate to play against.