Newcastle United finally broke their transfer record last month after they brought in Miguel Almiron from Atlanta United.
Almiron arrived at St. James’ Park for £20m (BBC Sport), £4m more than what the Magpies paid for previous record buy Michael Owen back in 2005 after he joined from Real Madrid, to give manager Rafael Benitez the attacking reinforcement he so desperately craved.
How, though, does the 25-year-old compare to Newcastle’s last real big-money signing by their standards, Georginio Wijnaldum?
Looking at Newcastle’s squad, Almiron is exactly the kind of player Benitez needed. Considering that, it is not hard to see why the Spaniard wanted the former Atlanta United man so badly.
There is a real lack of attacking threat in Newcastle’s starting XI, something the introduction of Almiron should be able to fix.
Capable of playing on the left or just behind the striker, the 25-year-old possesses the kind of pace that can see him breeze past midfielders and defenders before arriving at the edge of the opposition box where he can be absolutely devastating.
Almiron uses such a good technique when striking the ball with his left foot outside of the box, a tool he used to score goals in the MLS with Atlanta United.
The Premier League, of course, is a whole other level. However, in the Paraguay international, Newcastle still look to have a player who can address some of the issues in the team.
TT Grade: B
Wijnaldum was not at Newcastle for long, but the 28-year-old certainly made an impact at St. James’ Park before leaving for Liverpool.
In the end, Wijnaldum was unable to help prevent the Magpies’ relegation to the Championship, though the 2015/16 Premier League season remains one where he came up with some big contributions for his club.
His goal tally reached double digits that campaign after he found the back of the net on 11 occasions, while his attacking quality overall was of a high level.
The Netherlands international is now playing in a much deeper midfield role at Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp, which has seen his goal output significantly decrease compared to his time in Newcastle, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord shirts, but he is still a fantastic player and one Almiron should be looking to imitate.
TT Grade: B+
A lot of signings at Newcastle made under Mike Ashley have not worked out the way supporters would have imagined with Wijnaldum one of few exceptions.
The Liverpool man performed well in his only season at St. James’ Park and came up with the sort of numbers in front of goal that fans will be praying for Almiron to produce.
And if his displays in the MLS are anything to go by, then the signs for Newcastle certainly look good in that regard.
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