Newcastle have broken their club record by finally unveiling Paraguay playmaker Miguel Almiron for an undisclosed fee understood to be £21million.
The 24-year-old joins the Magpies from Major League Soccer side Atlanta United on a five-and-a-half-year deal which will keep him at St James’ Park until June 2024.
He will wear the squad number 24 for the Magpies.
“I’m very happy and eager to start and to meet my new team mates,” Almiron told NUFC TV. “The league is very competitive, this is a historic club, and Rafa Benitez himself were the main reasons why I am here now.
“I think it is a great responsibility, something beautiful for me, and I will try to offer the best I can to repay the trust the club put in me.”
Magpies manager Benitez added: “We were following Miguel Almiron 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.
“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.
We are delighted to announce the signing of forward Miguel Almirón from @ATLUTD.
The 24-year-old has penned a five-and-a-half-year deal which will keep him at St. James' Park until June 2024.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) January 31, 2019
“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.”
The news is likely to conclude Newcastle’s transfer business – the club brought in Italian defender Antonio Barreca earlier in the day – and should appease Benitez, who had threatened to walk out if signings were not made.