To say it was long overdue is an understatement, but Newcastle United have finally broken their transfer record with the signing of Miguel Almiron from MLS side Atlanta City.
The attacking midfielder has signed a five-and-a-half year deal on Tyneside and will be hoping to break straight into the starting line-up.
For manager Rafael Benitez, the capture of Almiron will be a huge relief and the long suffering fans will be boosted by the exciting signing. The Paraguayan arrives with a glowing reputation, and he’ll be keen to fulfil those aspirations.
What does he bring?
Initially, it’s expected to take a bit of time for Almiron to get used to the hustle and bustle of the Premier League. It’s his first time playing outside of the Americas but he is renowned for his speed and agility, something of which will benefit him massively in England’s elite.
Almiron is predominantly left-footed and can play either on the left flank or just behind the striker, another positive for Newcastle and Benitez.
In terms of goals, Almiron enjoyed his best spell throughout 2018 when he scored 12 times in 32 MLS appearances. In 2017, Almiron notched nine goals in 30 league outings so he has certainly proven his worth in the United States. Again, it will likely take some time before Almiron starts to find the back of the net.
The 24-year-old has his best years in front of him, and if Benitez can get Almiron to play to his strengths, he could have one hell of a player on his hands.
Admittedly, Almiron’s attacking style of play will excite Newcastle’s passionate following but he must realise that potential sooner rather than later.
Can he take Newcastle to the next level?
Owing to the uncertainty of Newcastle’s ownership, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where the Geordies should be aiming in terms of Premier League placement. The fan base suggests top four but more often than not, the football indicates a relegation fight.
With the introduction of Almiron, Newcastle can try to centre their play around the talents of the former Lanus star and pull themselves away from the bottom of the table. A cluster of teams are enduring the same scenario as the Magpies right now but Almiron can be a breath of fresh air that has been long overdue.
Without getting ahead of ourselves, Almiron might not even make the grade as a Premier League player but all the early signs and indications suggest he’ll be a hit, even if it does take him time to bed in.
It would be unfair for Newcastle supporters to pin all their hopes on Almiron, but he could be the start of a new era at St James Park which sees a new exciting brand of football.
You could even argue Almiron will have the same impact as Nolberto Solano and Faustino Asprilla, who were both massive success during their ‘90s heyday.
It appears everything is in place for Almiron to succeed in the Premier League and he’ll be doing everything he can to fire them to the next level.
Think the Paraguayan can get his first goal against Brighton on April 27th? Take a look at all the latest markets with English Premier League betting on Betfair.