Just like Martinez, it will be surprising if Miguel Almiron isn’t moved this offseason. There were rumors this past winter about offers from some Premier League clubs, and I expect more of those this offseason until Almiron is sold. The Paraguayan’s upside is immense. The only big thing working against him is his age. Almiron is 24, meaning most big European clubs might stay away from him, but some mid-level clubs may look to add him because of his proven worth.
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Almiron grabbed some top honors last season in MLS, including MLS Newcomer of the Year and a selection to the MLS Best XI. He has also been selected to the All-Star teams both last year and this year. Almiron made a lot of noise last year with his honors and an impressive nine goals and 14 assists in 2400 minutes. This season his numbers are a little lower, with eight goals and 11 assists through 2100 minutes.
Other than his age, Almiron’s only other weakness is his finishing. Almiron’s expected goals this season are 12.8, but he’s only scored eight goals, nearly five fewer than the quality and quantity of his shots suggest. If you watch an Atlanta game, chances are you’ll see Almiron waste a solid opportunity. This is unfortunate, although probably not permanent. But because it’s an issue so far this season, whichever European team comes knocking may use this poor performance as a tool to knock down Atlanta’s asking price.
Despite the lower numbers and problems with finishing, Almiron is still a top talent in MLS. Just like Martinez, his goal is to play in Europe. This winter may be his best window of opportunity. Almiron performed well in last year’s All-Star game against Real Madrid and this year’s All-Star game against Juventus. Although both European giants rolled out their back-up and reserve players, Almiron kept his own regardless.
Prediction: Almiron is transferred to a Premier League side for at least $22 million.