Almiron is now the most expensive outbound MLS player, more than Bayern Munich paid for Alphonso Davies in the summer; He's Newcastle's most expensive signing, more lavish than what the Magpies paid for Michael Owen in 2005; He's also the most expensive Paraguayan player of all time, with a fee larger than what Manchester City paid for Roque Santa Cruz in 2009.
So, for the uninformed: Who is Miguel Almiron? Well, you've come to the right place.
Style and position
Almiron is a modern attacking player, fluid in his position. He can play on either wing though operates best underneath the striker.
His pace with the ball is his most obvious strength, as it is his most noticeable. He is frightening to defenses and exhilarating to supporters when in open field on a counter attack. Almiron can both score and create, evident by his 21 goals and 28 assists across 62 MLS appearances. He also helped lead the club to hoist MLS Cup in just their second season of existence.
Almiron's preferred foot is his left, with which he possesses the ability to shoot with power or finesse. He also puts in quite a defensive shift, noted for his work-rate when in defense to match his attacking presence.
Oh yeah: He's no stranger to linking with a Venezuelan striker, as he and Josef Martinez set the league ablaze in their two seasons together in Atlanta. More of the same with Newcastle's Venezuelan striker Salomon Rondon?
- Almiron won 2017 Newcomer of the Year, was a 2018 MVP finalist and a two-time Best XI member in two memorable seasons with Atlanta.
- He was on pace to start every single league match in 2018 before picking up an injury with two games left, though returned in time for the playoffs.
- Almiron reminds himself of his Paraguayan roots when away from home by enjoying a drink called tereré.
- His favorite player of all time isn't a No. 10 like himself, but a goalkeeper: José Luis Chilavert, who took some penalties and free kicks en route to becoming the second-highest keeper ever.
Almiron with Paraguay in 2016 | USA Today Sports
Before joining Atlanta United ahead of the 2017 season, Almiron starred in South America.
He started his career in Paraguay with his hometown club Cerro Porteño, where he made 41 appearances across all competitions before moving to Argentina with Lanus. There, he made 45 appearances while winning the league and the Supercopa.
A full Paraguayan international, Almiron made his debut in 2015 and has accrued 13 caps for his country. He figures to be a leading member of his national side for years to come.
What they're saying...
- "When we think of Atlanta’s most dangerous element, it’s the counter-attack. They can turn a defensive scrum in their own box into a goal scoring opportunity on the other end faster than anyone else in the league. That’s Almiron. He’s able to fly at high speeds with the ball under control, then make the right choice at precisely the right moment." - Bobby Warshaw, MLSsoccer.com.
- "He's going to run with the ball at devastating pace with a lovely left foot, these are his two great virtues: wonderful pace and a left foot to open up defenses. He's an ideal type of player for a team that want to defend deep, cover up and launch a counter attack." - Tim Vickery, South American soccer expert, via Sky Sports.
- "Almiron, above all, is (Atlanta's) key. His cleverness and class on the ball, his ability to orchestrate Atlanta’s lightning transitions, his uncanny knack for nudging a match’s tempo to whatever speed his team needs it to be – it’s all borderline world-class ... it’s what makes ATL UTD unstoppable at their best," - Charlie Boehm, MLSsoccer.com.