West Ham take on Newcastle United in the Premier League this Saturday at the London Stadium in a fixture that should see both clubs’ record signings feature.
The Home side, of course, made Felipe Anderson their most expensive signing last summer after they bought the Brazilian from Lazio for £36m, while the visitors recently followed the same theme when they agreed a £20m deal (BBC Sport) with Atlanta United for Miguel Almiron.
How, though, do the two record buys compare ahead of the clash between their respective sides?
After an incredible run of form around the Christmas period, Anderson’s influence on games has dwindled somewhat, though he has still remained a threat and arguably West Ham’s best player since, putting into perspective how good he really is.
The 25-year-old is often able to breeze past the opposition down the left flank with his pace or cut in centrally with his right foot where he can cause absolute havoc.
Anderson has the vision and passing execution to pick out a team-mate in a more threatening position, while when closer to goal, he has the finishing technique and composure to find the back of the net.
Technically, there might not be a better winger outside of the top six. And based on this season’s showing, Anderson is probably a winger capable of playing for one of those top six teams.
TT Grade: A-
Like Anderson, Almiron possesses the pace to leave defenders in the dust as he showed during his time in the MLS with Atlanta.
As a result, the 25-year-old can be absolutely devastating on the counter-attack, combining that speed with an actual end product.
He has both the creativity to fashion out opportunities and shooting ability to really test the goalkeeper, making him more than just a pace merchant.
Assessing Newcastle’s squad before January, Almiron is exactly the kind of player Benitez was missing, especially after Kenedy’s rapid decline.
Perhaps not all, but the addition of the Paraguay international should help solve a lot of the Magpies’ problems on the pitch.
TT Grade: B
After a slow start to life at the London Stadium, it is fair to say Anderson has blossomed into such an important player for West Ham after being afforded the time by Manuel Pellegrini.
That time and patience is exactly what Almiron needs at St. James’ Park if he is to be a success.
And if given that, the former Atlanta man should be able to replicate the sort of impact David Gold and David Sullivan’s large investment has made in the Premier League.
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