Miguel Almiron 'works every day as if it is his last' and Steve Bruce is not worried about the Newcastle United's forward's goal drought because of 'what he gives the team and the threat he causes'.
The 25-year-old has yet to find the back of the net for the Magpies since completing his deadline day move from Atlanta United in January.
Like predecessor Rafa Benitez , who signed him, Almiron has proved a big favourite of Bruce's with his energy and pace on the counter-attack and the Newcastle head coach has never seen running statistics quite like the Paraguayan's.
Newcastle missed that threat in the 1-0 defeat at Burnley last week, after Almiron was ruled out a hamstring injury, but Bruce is hopeful he will return against Crystal Palace.
“I understand Almiron hasn’t scored but, after speaking to a lot of people last year, he lit up last year," he told reporters in his pre-match press conference ahead of the visit of the Eagles.
"In January he arrived, he gave the impetus to the team and really nothing has changed in that respect as far as I’m concerned. He is a smashing player who we all enjoy playing in the team.
“We would love him to score more goals but works every day as if it is his last. He comes in, he is a wonderful professional, he is a great lad, a good player so I have got no problems with Almiron because of what he gives the team and the threat he causes. If he can add a few goals, great, but at the moment I am very pleased with him.
“You always miss your good players, especially at the top end of the pitch. With him and Saint-Maximin missing, of course, we are going to be a bit hampered. We have paid a lot of money for the two of them so that's what we brought them here for, to give us that little bit of an edge. Last week, we certainly missed them. Sometimes you become a better player by not playing."
Newcastle were without eight first-team players - Almiron, Allan Saint-Maximin, Jamaal Lascelles, Jonjo Shelvey, Miguel Almiron, Matt Ritchie, Ciaran Clark, Ki and Karl Darlow - for the trip to Turf Moor last week.
Palace, too, have had to cope with an injury crisis of their own and Andros Townsend, Gary Cahill, Patrick van Aanholt, Jeffrey Schlupp, Jairo Riedewald and Joel Ward are all sidelined.
Just as Palace have suffered in a particular area, at full-back, Newcastle have been hit going forward with Shelvey, Almiron and Saint-Maximin all playing key roles to the Magpies' recent upturn in form.
"That's the disappointing thing. Look, you're going to pick up injuries - there's no question - but the one thing you don't want is them all in the same area," Bruce added.
"There is a scale of you freshening up. Can you put three or four in to freshen your team up? Look, we will have to adapt and see what we have got.
"A lot of teams will be in the same situation at this period of the season and injuries do catch up with you. As I said, Crystal Palace have six or seven missing as well, which is never healthy."