Miguel Almiron insists he is thoroughly enjoying his time at Newcastle United, despite the fact he is yet to score his first goal for the club since signing nearly 12 months ago for a then-record transfer fee of $27 million.
The 25-year-old Paraguay international has at times dazzled with the creativity and pace which saw him run rampant for MLS side Atlanta United, but the final product has thus far evaded Almiron to the point that some pundits have already labeled him a bust of a signing. Furthermore, Almiron only just tallied his first Premier League assist on the final day of November.
“I can honestly say my failure to score isn’t something I’m worried too much about. I’m sure goals will come. I score goals. I did it in South America, the MLS and I score for my country too. It’s just about doing what I’ve done throughout my career.
“Let’s hope the goals start flowing very, very soon. But I’ve felt the support of the fans so much from the start and they have been just fantastic. Their support has made me feel calm. I appreciate their backing and it makes me work even harder.
“I just love the game so much and I want to be involved all over the place — I want to be everywhere. I’m like one of the kids in the playground who is just chasing the ball all over the place. Football is my life, it is my world. It is my happy place.”
Almiron’s next chance for his first Newcastle goal could come on Saturday, when the Magpies host Crystal Palace at St. James’ Park (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold), assuming he is fit to return from a minor hamstring injury which caused him to miss last weekend’s defeat to Burnley — a game which saw the Newcastle attack fail to create much of anything in Almiron’s absence.
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As for life off the field, it sounds as though the northeast of England has made quite the impression on Almiron, and that’s made it rather easy for him to adjust to the culture shock.
“Settling in at first was a bit tough, I can’t deny. It was the first time I had been to England and it was all very different. The language, the weather, the culture, and of course there was the pressure. It’s still there. But I’m relaxed now.
“My English is coming along okay, I can understand most things but I’m a bit shy so coming out and speaking is not always for me.”
“Now everything is perfect, I am very happy with the city and the club. It feels right. Newcastle is my home now. I dedicate my life to the club.
“My family have been great for moral support but I feel I handle it well. In the modern game, most players are used to being away from home and having to support themselves and this is no different.”