TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Transfer
Long reported and expected, now finally official: Atlanta United have sold Miguel Almiron to Newcastle in a groundbreaking transfer, the club announced Thursday. The specific fee was not released by the clubs, though it's been heavily reported to be $27 million and ATL confirmed that the amount sets a new MLS record for an outgoing transfer.
The move breaks the previous record just five months after Bayern Munich bought Alphonso Davies for a fee that could rise to $22 million. Additionally, Almiron is now the most expensive signing in Newcastle history, and has signed a five-and-a-half-year deal with the English Premier League side.
Almiron departs Atlanta after two scintillating seasons, during which the Paraguayan international notched 21 goals and 28 assists in 62 appearances while leading Atlanta to an MLS Cup triumph in just their second season in the league. He also won 2017 MLS Newcomer of the Year, was a finalist for the Landon Donovan 2018 MLS MVP and was named to MLS Best XI in both campaigns.
“First and foremost, we want to thank Miguel for two incredible years with Atlanta United, culminating in winning MLS Cup last season,” Atlanta United president Darren Eales said in a statement. “When we recruited Miguel, we knew he was a fantastically talented player, who could achieve success in Atlanta, develop his game further, and, if he wished, move to a top European League. Two years later, we couldn’t be happier with what Miguel has contributed to the club, and that he is realizing his dream of playing in the Premier League. He is a committed athlete who gives his all to the game and is loved by our fans as a player and as a person. We wish him nothing but the best in his career.
“This is also a landmark day for Atlanta United,” said Eales. “We not only shattered the league transfer fee record, but gave proof of concept for our original club model of signing top young players and giving them a chance to thrive and develop.”
He formed a lethal partnership with striker Josef Martinez as the pair led Atlanta to 140 goals over the last two seasons.
Rafa Benitez on Miguel Almiron: "We were following Miguel Almirón for a while, and 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.He has the potential to do what we are expecting, & what we need."— Roberto Rojas (@RobertoRojas97) January 31, 2019
Almiron arrived in Atlanta ahead of the 2017 season from Lanus in Argentina, already one of Latin America's most coveted young attackers. At Lanus, he won a league title as well as the Supercopa.
Newcastle are embroiled in a relegation scrap as Almiron arrives, in 14th place after 24 matches of their 38-game season. They precariously sit just five points above the relegation zone and have scored the third-fewest goals in the league.