Why Miguel Almiron was removed from Newcastle United starting XI in place of Jacob Murphy

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The selection call came as a surprise to many Newcastle United supporters.

Eddie Howe has explained his decision to start Jacob Murphy over Miguel Almiron for Newcastle United’s 2-1 win against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The Magpies’ head coach made five changes to his starting XI, with Murphy a surprise inclusion among recalls for Fabian Schar, Joe Willock, Allan Saint-Maximin and Alexander Isak.

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Indeed, it proved to be the right decision from Howe. Isak opened the scoring at St James’ Park and Murphy put in a solid display down the right-hand side.

Almiron, introduced as a 68th-minute substitute, then scored the winner with 11 minutes remaining.

Newcastle United winger Jacob Murphy. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)Newcastle United winger Jacob Murphy. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
Newcastle United winger Jacob Murphy. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Asked why he picked Murphy over Almiron, Howe explained: “I don’t think it’s a major issue. We were rotating our team and freshening it up. Miggy has played near enough every game. We felt it was right to give Jacob a chance, he’s done really well from the bench in recent weeks.

“Miggy responded as only he would because he’s got an incredible attitude. I’m so pleased he scored the winning goal. It’s a fitting reward for his season.”

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The Paraguayan’s 79th-minute strike was his 11th of the campaign. His omission against Wolves was the first Premier League game he hadn’t started this campaign.

But Howe had no doubts the 29-year-old would respond in a positive way.

Newcastle United winger Miguel Almiron. (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)Newcastle United winger Miguel Almiron. (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)
Newcastle United winger Miguel Almiron. (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

“He’s really attacked the situation,” Howe added. “The team was in need and I had no doubt that Miggy would come on in the right frame of mind. I know the lad so well and he’s a team player, he’s not about himself.

“The team needed him and he’s come on and made a big contribution. But his attitude is first-class every single day, I see that first-hand, so I had no doubt about how he would respond today.”

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