Newcastle United £21m star ‘in contention for starting XI recall v Tottenham Hotspur
Eddie Howe could name changes to his Newcastle United starting XI after last week’s 3-0 loss at Aston Villa.
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The Magpies host Tottenham Hotspur at St James’ Park (kick-off 2pm) in a huge game in the race for Champions League qualification. By claiming a win, Howe’s side will move six points above fifth place Spurs with a game in-hand still to play.
United had been without Almiron for games against Nottingham Forest, Manchester United, West Ham United and Brentford due to a thigh injury before he made his comeback as a substitute in last Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Aston Villa.
Jacob Murphy has deputised well in the Paraguayan’s absence but Howe could be tempted to recall his top goal scorer for the visit of Spurs.
"He’s an option - I’d say he’s in contention,” said Howe. “He’s had minimal training - he’s trained this week and trained well, as Miggy usually does.
“I was pleased to see him back on the pitch. But prior to that, he had quite a long absence, so we’ll wait and see. I’ll try and make the right call for him and the team.”
Almiron’s strike in Newcastle’s 2-1 win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium earlier in the season contributed to a run of seven goals in as many matches.
The 29-year-old has netted 11 in total - his best goal return since joining from MLS side Atlanta United for £21million in January 2019.
"I think he’s always had the physical capabilities to deliver off the ball,” Howe continued. “I think he’s an incredible performer for us - he’s certainly helped us with the high-intensity pressing game that we wanted to implement.
“On the ball, I think he’s vastly developed his game. I think he’s now got a unique way of playing, he’s got unique relationships with the team, with Kieran (Trippier), Sean (Longstaff) and Bruno (Guimaraes).
“It’s quite evident when we play how he links up with those players, so I think his game’s in a good place and we’re delighted to get him back fit.”
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