Newcastle's new signing Miguel Almiron has all the tools needed to become a top Premier League player, according to Brad Friedel.
Almiron netted 12 times in MLS last season, winning the MLS Cup in the process, whilst also making the MLS All-Star team for the second year running, before moving to Newcastle in a club-record £20 million ($26m) deal in the January transfer window.
Former USMNT goalkeeper Friedel knows what it takes to be a Premier League player after making 450 appearances in the competition and he believes Almiron, who made his Newcastle debut as a substitute in the recent 1-1 draw at Wolves, possesses the qualities needed to shine in England's top flight.
"Almiron may be a loss to Atlanta, but is a definite gain for Newcastle," said Friedel, speaking exclusively to us-bookies.com .
"He was exceptional and the Atlanta scouting network did a fantastic job in bringing him and I know they paid a lot of money by MLS standards, and he did a fantastic job there
“The Premier League is different; it’s very fast and physical but he has the tools to deal with it, to be very good in England.
"Any league in the world, it will take any player a little bit of adapting, but he has the potential to do very well over there.
"I think any team that signed him would have had someone to link up with him very well, and you’ll see his pace."
Friedel is excited to see how one of the best players in MLS copes with a move to England after his transfer fee became the record sale from an MLS club, eclipsing the previous milestone of Alphonso Davies' switch to Bayern Munich from the Vancouver Whitecaps.
"Historically, MLS has not been a selling league, so it’s good to see that clubs are taking note of the MLS and paying those sorts of transfer fees," added Friedel. "He has the pace and technical ability to succeed in English football, and I wish him the very best of luck!”
Friedel himself almost signed for Newcastle as a youngster but he failed to acquire a work permit to complete the proposed deal.
“I actually signed for Newcastle in 1994, but I wasn’t able to attain a work permit so I went from Newcastle to Brondby.
"I was playing for the USA, but they didn’t have an appeals process on the work permit, and you had to have played 75% of your national team’s games over the last two years, and when I had applied I think I was 22 years of age and I was the number two at the World Cup and only had 50/60%, but by the time I signed with Liverpool that’s when I had 75%.”