A United Nation: Why Miguel Almiron is the leader Newcastle need
After a highly successful year winning the league and cup double with unfancied Argentine side Lanus in 2015-16 Miguel Almiron took the first bold step of his career.
In December 2016 he signed with new-fangled Major League Soccer expansion side Atlanta United.
The accolades have just seemed to rain in from then, and with a Newcomer of Year award and an MLS Cup in hand – he has just made his second brave move of his fledgling career.
The move resulted in Newcastle United breaking their 13-and-a-half-year-old transfer record by splashing £20 million on the player.
Almiron is set to make his Magpies debut tonight against Wolverhampton Wanderers We’ve got a full preview of that clash right here.
But with his new side 18/4 to win, we take a look at why Almiron represents more than just a signing at St. James Park…
It’s not as if the Premier League hasn’t seen a wave of talent from MLS shores before.
The likes of goalkeepers Kasey Keller and Brad Friedel in the mid-nineties to Fulham hero Brian McBride, Clint Dempsey and the Toon’s DeAndre Yedlin.
But after a lean spell, this transfer could be the trigger for a host of top talent arrive from the MLS.
Almiron was arguably the most decisive player in the league last season – but after Tyler Adams and Zack Steffen were snapped up by RB Leipzig and Manchester City respectively it could trigger a new generation spreading their wings.
Wayne Rooney’s DC United team-mate Lucho Acosta’s is drawing admirers after a deadline day transfer to Paris Saint-Germain fell through at the last minute.
Colorado Rapids star Kellyn Acosta was reportedly of interest to an unnamed Championship according to America Soccer Now’s Brian Sciaretta.
And you can’t forget MLS player of the year Joseph Martinez and defender of the year Aaron Long – both of whom look destined for moves to Europe sooner rather than later.
Making Newcastle great again!
South American football expert Tim Vickery calls Newcastle’s record signing ‘The Great Almiron’ – which is some billing.
Newcastle United fans have been crying out for something or someone to rally behind and Almiron could be that man.
His exciting link-up with Martinez last season, showed both his eye for goal and deftness in the final third.
The Toon faithful are sure to see a guy looking to dictate play from out wide or behind the striker and make things happen.
If he can develop a good relationship with both Ayoze Perez and Salomon Rondon, then there’s no reason Newcastle can’t shoot up the league.
Premier League ready?
There isn’t many tougher games in the league than Wolves away at the moment.
Rafael Benitez will need to have his men charged up like the game against Man City last month.
The Toon are 9/2 to be relegated, but a win tonight could see them three points clear of the drop-zone.
His wiry frame, may need to bulk up for the rigours of the Premier League – although it’s clear to see he has all the technical ability to be a Newcastle hero.
Howay the lads!
All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication