Miguel Almiron has been compared to Real Madrid star Gareth Bale by the man who sold him to Newcastle, Atlanta United president Darren Eales, with the Magpies told to expect big things from their £20 million ($26m) record signing.
The Paraguay international completed a big-money move from MLS to the Premier League during the January transfer window.
The 24-year-old has arrived at St James’ Park with a blossoming reputation, having starred as a creative influence in America, and is considered to boast many of the attributes which made former Tottenham winger Bale a success in England prior to his stunning switch to Spain.
Eales told The Mirror of Almiron ahead of a potential Newcastle debut against Wolves on Monday: “He’s an unbelievable person as a character. He smiles all the time. From that perspective of engaging with the fans, he was an instant fan favourite because of his demeanour.
“In terms of his playing on the pitch, he is non-stop, perpetual motion. He is faster with the ball than without it. He reminds me very much of Gareth Bale that way.
“When Gareth picked the ball up, he always seemed to be quicker when he had the ball and Miggy is like that with his pace.
“But the big thing for him and why I think he is really suited for the Premier League is, yes he is a brilliantly exciting attacking player, particularly in transition but he works really hard in defending.
“For us as a club, to have our star player be the first person tackling back, and run 60 yards back to nick it out of touch, was great.
“So, going to Newcastle – and this was the chat we had – he is going to fit in straight away because Newcastle fans want a player who is going to wear his heart on his sleeve, and who is there doing the dirty stuff just as much as the attacking stuff.
“In Miggy, they get the best of both. They get a hard-working guy who’s going to be spending every bit of energy he’s got for the fans but he’s also got that touch of class where he’s going to take your breath away as he carries the ball.
“I think he’s going to be really successful.”
Eales is convinced that Newcastle will get value for money from Almiron despite having to make him the costliest purchase in the club’s history.
He added: “We were always pretty firm about the figure we wanted. We knew there was an interest at that level but I’d say I was sceptical, given his track record, that we would get to a figure that was acceptable.
“But to be fair to Newcastle, in the end, it was a good hard negotiation.
“Clearly, Rafa wanted the player and they had done their homework. He was someone they had thought about. They had done their due diligence and thought ‘okay, we’re going to push the button on this one’.
“It was important for Miggy because it was his dream. It was important for the league, too, for that type of number. It is by far and away the record transfer fee for MLS. I think we have helped to set the table for future transfers.”