Atlanta United and Miguel Almirón: The perfect exit

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - JANUARY 30: New signing Miguel Almiron poses for photos at St.James' Park on January 30, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United)
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - JANUARY 30: New signing Miguel Almiron poses for photos at St.James' Park on January 30, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United) /

After two seasons in Major League Soccer, Atlanta United’s Miguel Almirón heads to Newcastle United to represent what is becoming the new identity of the league.

After months of speculation, Atlanta United saw their beloved number 10, Miguel Almiron, end his time in Major League Soccer and move on to English Premier League side Newcastle United in a record-breaking move that is said to be around $27 million including incentives.

The Paraguayan international arrived in Atlanta with high expectations, coming from the Argentinian side Club Lanús and occupying a Designated Player spot in the Five Stripes’ inaugural roster.

Related Story. MLS, Atlanta United and Miguel Almiron: The game has changed. light

Upon his arrival in Atlanta, his goal to eventually take his talents to Europe was painfully obvious to everyone who followed his short two-year spell in North America. And with his dream MLS run coming to its inevitable end, Almirón and everyone who supports the beautiful game in North America have reason to smile.

To the Atlanta United supporter, this move causes a number of mixed emotions. Almirón was arguably the club’s best player and perhaps the best player in MLS, so the loss of such a high-caliber player will undoubtedly sting for the Five Stripe faithful.

More from MLS Multiplex

Along with his play on the pitch, Atlanta rallied around this player like no other. From the moment Atlanta United kits went on sale, the city was covered in Almirón shirts, whether it was a matchday or not. His presence off the field, along with his world-class play on it, led him to become one of the faces of Atlanta United and MLS.

Although the loss of such a high-caliber player as Almirón pains supporters, everyone who is fighting the good fight of improving the game in North America has reason for optimism as the Paraguayan send his talents overseas.

MLS is slowly becoming a league of developing young talent, eventually shipping them off to Europe and giving clubs a hefty profit in the process. Perhaps the first example of this trend is New York native Tyler Adams, who went through the Red Bulls academy to be sent to Red Bull Leipzig. But Almirón’s transfer has a little different meaning than Adams’ departure.

Atlanta United, along with other MLS clubs, have begun to recruit young talent from South America and promising to better their game and help prepare them for their eventual goal of playing against the best players in the world across the pond. Now with Almirón doing just that, teams in MLS have the perfect example for what playing in North American can do for player’s careers down the road.

And with more young talented South Americans filling up MLS, there is no doubt that Almirón will not be the last to find his way to Europe. The process of recruiting young players to eventually sell them off gives benefits for the player and massive amounts of profit for the club.

Almirón arrived in Atlanta for a transfer fee of around $8 million from Argentina and is heading off to Newcastle United for a transfer fee approximately $27 million. Even though the entirety of the transfer fee will not go in Atlanta United’s pockets, the profit the Five Stripes are receiving is proof that the system works perfectly when executed.

And as the 2019 season approaches, fans are already seeing this process reap its rewards with players like Gonzalo “Pity” Martinez and Diego Rossi playing in MLS with the high possibility of making the move to European clubs and giving their club’s large amounts of profit if they are to be sold to Europe.

Next. USMNT Vs Costa Rica: 3 things we learned. dark

The transfer of Almirón is a painful one to see for Atlanta United supporters, the city got behind him like nobody expected and he gave back to those same supporters with two incredible seasons that ended with the 2018 MLS Cup. And as he faces his next challenge in one of the most difficult leagues in the world, fans across North America can only be grateful for what Almirón has done for the league.