How Will Miguel Almiron Fit Into Rafa Benitez’s Plans at Newcastle United?

Miguel Almiron
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - JANUARY 30: New signing Miguel Almiron poses for photos holding a named and numbered shirt at St.James' Park on January 30, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United)

Newcastle United smashed their transfer window with the signing of Miguel Almiron from Atlanta United for £21 million on deadline day. It breaks a 14-year record dating back to when Newcastle brought in the injury-prone Michael Owen. It also follows a year-long transfer pursuit which frustrated Rafa Benitez. The manager will be delighted to finally get his man, but how will the Paraguayan forward fit in at St James’ Park?

How Will New Signing Miguel Almiron Fit in at Newcastle?

Rafa’s Plans Could be Bad News For Ayoze Perez

Almiron, who starred for Atlanta United in the MLS, looks like he will fit into the number ten role, just behind Venezuelan striker Salomon Rondon. At Atlanta, Almiron provided the assists for Rondon’s international counterpart Jozef Martinez and he will no doubt be hoping he can do the same for Rondon.

The two players who may struggle to get minutes with Almiron’s signing, though, are likely to be Ayoze Perez and Yoshinori Muto. Perez has long been a favourite of Rafa’s but has been unable to kick on and perform consistently. He has struggled to produce an end product and can be too lightweight at times.  

A Star Who Can Score and Provide Assists

Almiron has been seen by many as Atlanta’s best player in the last two seasons. He has scored 21 goals and also had 28 assists during his spell at the Mercedes Benz Stadium. He was voted into both MLS Best XI in 2017 and 2018. His final appearance for Atlanta led to tears from many fans. He will be hoping he can continue his MLS Form at St James’s Park.

MLS to Premier League – Can He Adapt?

Many MLS Pundits feel that in terms of technical ability, Almiron should be able to cope with the transition to the Premier League. He has a good dribbling ability and a quality delivery for set-pieces, as well as possessing a fine range of passing. His pace will be vital for Newcastle, who have struggled to open up teams at times. The one question mark is whether he is too slight for the Premier League and will cope with the physicality. If he is able to adapt, he may play a key role in maintaining Newcastle’s Premier League status.

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