After much speculation, Atlanta United announced the signing of Paraguay international Miguel Almirón. He joins the club from Argentine power Lanús.
Almirón, 22, began his career with Cerro Porteño in Paraguay, where he scored his first professional goal at the age of 19. In his two seasons with the first team, he compiled six goals in 39 appearances.
“Our club’s ambition is to acquire quality players heading into their peak playing years and Miguel’s youth and ability absolutely speak to that,” Atlanta United President Darren Eales said. “He’s highly regarded as one of the top young players in South America and we couldn’t be happier that he has chosen to continue his already impressive career here in Atlanta.”
Almirón will be a Young Designated Player on the Atlanta United roster, making him the second such signing after Tito Villalba. According to Doug Roberson of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Seattle Sounders held Almirón’s Discovery rights and Atlanta paid them $50,000 in General Allocation Money to complete this move.
The attacking midfielder moved to Lanús in 2015, where he was capped 34 times and tallied three goals.
It was at this time Almirón was called up to the Paraguay senior national team for the first time. He’s made seven appearances since 2015, including two starts in the 2016 Copa America.
“Miguel is a player I’ve long admired,” Atlanta United head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino said. “He is a very skillful player with excellent technique and great vision. He is currently one of the best players in Argentina’s top league and we’re really excited that he’s joining Atlanta United.”
Arsenal was rumored to be interested in acquiring Almirón last summer for a transfer fee of $11 million, but Lanús decided they would not sell until at least the end of the year.
If we weren’t certain of Atlanta United’s commitment to young talent before, this kind of signing confirms it.
Welcome to Atlanta, Miguel.