Miguel Almiron is settling in well at Newcastle United and is in line to make his Premier League debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
Almiron, 24, became the most-expensive player in Newcastle’s history when he signed from Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United for $26 million on transfer Deadline Day, Jan. 31.
The Paraguayan international has a lot of pressure on his shoulders from Newcastle’s passionate fans and although there are doubts about Almiron translating his success from MLS to the Premier League, he is totally confident he will be a hit at St James’ Park.
“I think for some time now the MLS has been improving,” Almiron told the media as he spoke to them for the first time since arriving at Newcastle. “Every year you see more and more quality players come in. I think it’s a good sign and a positive thing for that league. There are big differences between the two leagues… and [the Premier League] is a tougher league to play in. But I think with the help of my team-mates in training and the manager, it’s something I think I’ll cope with, and they’ll help me along the way.”
Almiron — who says he is feeling fit after spending preseason with Atlanta before his January move — will add an extra spark to Newcastle’s attack, with his incisive runs, wand of a left foot and ability to track back as well as he surges forward.
Sure, it will be a huge step up from MLS to the Premier League, but he will now be given time to settle in and his manager has already said he is a long-term signing and not a lot is expected of Almiron for the final 13 games of this season.
“I aim to bring something to the group of players we’ve already got… My main aim at the moment is settling in and getting to know my team-mates,” Almiron said. “It’s been a hectic week with lots of things to sort out, but now I feel more settled. I’ve managed to put in some decent work already… I feel good in myself.”
Newcastle currently sit five points above the relegation zone with 13 games to go, and a bit of magic from Miggy will go a long way to the Magpies securing their PL status for at least another season.
What about that price tag?
“First and foremost I see it as an honor,” Almiron said. “It’s something that I try not to pay too much attention to. It’s something that it secondary when it’s compared to me helping the team. I want to bring something.”