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Rafael Benitez is confident record signing Miguel Almiron can fulfil his potential in the Premier League after completing his move to Newcastle.
The 24-year-old has joined Newcastle from Atlanta United on a five-and-a-half-year deal for a reported £21m, breaking their previous transfer record – the £16.5m signing of Michael Owen from Real Madrid in 2005.
Almiron, who has 12 caps for Paraguay, has been a long-term target for Benitez and the Spaniard is delighted to have finally gotten his man.
“We were following Miguel Almiron for a while and we saw a player with some pace in attack who can play behind the striker,” Benitez said.
“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.
“His impact in MLS has been really good – he’s been one of the best players this year – and hopefully he can give us more competition and more quality in the final third.
“I am pleased that the hard work behind the scenes has ended positively and I thank everyone for their efforts.”
Almiron, who began his career with Cerro Poteno in his native Paraguay before heading for the United States via Argentinian side Atletico Lanus, was twice named in the MLS Best XI during his time in America.
Asked if he is fazed by his club-record fee, Almiron told Sky Sports News: “I am very happy to be here and I just want to work together with the manager. I don’t really think about the numbers, that is not my thing.
“It happened really quickly. I am really happy to be here and I’m anxious to get going.”