Miguel Almiron’s 24-month career plan worked out perfectly and went exactly to plan, culminating in the now-former Atlanta United superstar becoming a Newcastle United player on Thursday.
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The Magpies reportedly parted with nearly $30 million, which makes the 24-year-old Paraguayan playmaker the club’s new record signing and goes down as the new MLS-record fee for an outgoing player, to complete the deal.
Almiron arrived in Atlanta as the team and city arrived in MLS. While other exceptionally talented players joined him in MLS’s hottest new market, Almiron was the crown jewel from day one. Despite sky-high expectations, he exceeded the hype.
2017: 9 goals, 14 assists; MLS All-Star; MLS Best XI; MLS Newcomer of the Year.
2018: 12 goals, 14 assists; MLS Cup winner; MLS All-Star; MLS Best XI.
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The move is a dream come true for the player who’ll now wear the no. 24 for Newcastle, whose ultimate goal was always to use MLS and Atlanta as a launch point for what will hopefully be a hugely successful European adventure — quotes from Newcastle’s announcement:
“I’m very happy and eager to start and to meet my new teammates. The league is very competitive, this is a historic club, and Rafa Benitez himself were the main reasons why I am here now.
“I think it is a great responsibility, something beautiful for me, and I will try to offer the best I can to repay the trust the club put in me.”
Manager Rafa Benitez is equally delighted:
“We were following Miguel Almiron for a while. We saw a player with some pace in attack, who can play behind the striker.
“We have someone who can score goals and give assists. We know that MLS is a different challenge to the Premier League but he has the potential to do what we are expecting, and what we need.
“From talking to the lad, you can tell that he is really focused and wants to do well. He wants to be successful and he wants to help the team, to score goals and give assists if it is possible.
Make sure to tune-in for our special Transfer Deadline Day show on NBCSN today from 5 p.m. ET as we focus on all of the moves across the Premier League in the January window. You can stream the show live online right here.