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'He is ready' - Benitez says 'dynamic' Almiron is prepared for Premier League debut

06:11 EAT 11/02/2019
Miguel Almiron MLS Atlanta United 08192018 ATL
The Paraguay star joined Newcastle from Atlanta United after capturing an MLS Cup

Rafael Benitez says Miguel Almiron is ready to step in and contribute as Newcastle look to secure survival in the Premier League.

The Paraguayan star joined Newcastle from Atlanta United on deadline day, becoming the club's big reinforcement heading into the final months of the campaign.

Almiron was a vital piece of Atlanta United's run to the MLS Cup crown, scoring 13 goals as the club won the league in its second-ever season.

But the adjustment to the Premier League will be a big one for Almiron, although his manager says he's more than ready to be a part of the team.

“When you talk with him, he is ready, mentally he is ready and he says he wants to play and is available. You can see him in training, he is very dynamic, he is always involved, so that is fine," Benitez said.

“But it is the Premier League and the physicality and all those things, you have to cope with that. We will see how he feels and the other players are doing.

“We are bringing in a player who was in the MLS, so we know he needs to adapt. But he has the pace, the runs and the ability.

“We will see if he is strong enough to do the same thing as he was doing in the MLS on the ball and without the ball.”

“He is different to the players we have and that is what we were looking for," he added, "running in between the lines and behind the defenders and scoring goals and making passes.”

Almiron could make his debut as soon as Monday as Newcastle take on Wolves in Premier League play

Wolves' Raul Jimenez, who has scored 11 times this season, also made his name in North America in his native Mexico, and the El Tri star backed the Paraguayan to succeed when he becomes comfortable.

"It's a very big step, it's very, very different. I wasn't in the MLS but it's more or less like Mexico and I think it's a very big step for him," Jimenez said.

"[To be a success you need] to have confidence, to be part of the team as quickly as possible, to feel you are an important part and do what you have to do, as always.

"The things you were doing before are the things which are going to give you more experience. Moving here is another type of league but it's good for him.

"He's a good player, Newcastle saw something in him to take him to the Premier League."

As things stand, Newcastle sit 17th in the Premier League, level with 18th-place Southampton with a game in hand.

That makes the next stretch of games vital for Newcastle's survival hopes as the club looks to avoid any panic moving into the final 13 matches of the campaign.

“Hopefully we can get a result against Wolves, Huddersfield and Burnley. Maybe Fulham, the last game, will be the most important game. Hopefully not, but you never know," Benitez said.

“For me, 36-38 points [will secure safety].”