14 years after Newcastle United signed Michael Owen for a club record fee of £18 million, The Magpies finally look set to break what is by far the longest standing transfer record in the Premier League.
Sky Sports News are reporting the club have agreed a fee that is “likely to be a club record” for Atlanta United’s Miguel Almiron – an attacking midfielder and Paraguayan native. The 24-year-old won the MLS Cup with Atlanta last season and contributed an impressive 13 goals and 13 assists over the course of the season.
What role will he play?
He’s a number ten by trade but does have the ability to play in a wide position too. The most comparable player on the current Newcastle playing staff is Ayoze Perez – He plays a very similar role for Newcastle as Almiron does for Atlanta.
Rafael Benitez tends to favour a back five with wing-backs as well as wingers to support Salomon Rondon. If he continues with that system then it’s fair to assume Almiron would take the role on the left side of midfield – unless the boss decides to switch back to a four man defence.
Will it actually happen though?
At this stage, there doesn’t seem to be any obstacles obstructing the deal from being completed. However, when it comes to Newcastle United you can never be too sure. The player still has to travel to Tyneside, complete a medical and agree personal terms. As we’ve seen in the last week, with Newcastle those aren’t always a formality.
As the player in non-European, he will also need to seek a work permit – It shouldn’t be an issue but it will most likely delay things. Newcastle fans are cautiously optimistic the move will happen – given the recent transfer history on Tyneside, a fair amount of people are understandably sceptical:
Not everyone was so downcast about the situation though:
Sky Sports have also been reporting today that Newcastle are pushing for two other new signings too. They’ve enquired to Monaco for the loan signing of left-back Antonio Barecca as well as Benfica for the loan signing of midfielder Andreas Samaris. If they can pull those off as well as the signing of Almiron then the club will almost certainly be in a stronger position than they were just a week ago.
That’s two gaping holes in the team filled as well as a bit of attacking flair and creativity that the team so desperately lacks. My advice to the Geordies is to not expect these boys to be world beaters immediately. If they do end arrive on Tyneside, they’ll all likely need a bit of time to adapt – Give them that without constant criticism and they’ll get the job done.