The rise of Miguel Almiron over the past year has been nothing short of spectacular. The Paraguayan joined Atlanta United back in December of 2016 and since his arrival, the attacking midfielder dazzled in his debut season in Major League Soccer.
The baby-faced attacking midfielder showed no mercy all season long, putting fear into the hearts of defenders and treating games as training sessions at times.
Games played: 30 (27 starts).
Key passes per game: 1.8
While the stats show just how impactful Almiron was for Atlanta, the eye test was more than enough. His ability to change games with one stroke of the ball instantly made him a fan favorite in Georgia’s capital.
What went right this season?
Everything. Miguel Almiron joined Atlanta before the season, despite reported interest from Arsenal, and didn’t look back. The 23-year old racked up two Player of the Week awards, seven Team of the Week selections, and earned a place in the MLS All-Star team in his first season in the United States. Almiron’s rise to stardom earned him praise from all over the league, and even more interest from abroad.
Atlanta’s attack finished the regular season as the second best in Major League Soccer and a large part of that success can be put on the shoulders of Almiron. Time and time again, the 23-year old provided the key to unlock opposing defenses and award his fellow attackers with golden opportunities.
What does he need to improve on?
At just 23, there remains plenty of room for improvement for Almiron. The main weakness in Almiron’s game may be his unselfishness, as too many times this season he opted to look for a teammate rather than take the shot himself. While nine goals from an attacking midfield role is good, it could’ve been more if he chose to be selfish from time to time.
What is his role for next season?
After a stellar campaign, Almiron has been linked with a move to Europe in the offseason. Rumors of Newcastle United, Arsenal, and AC Milan will continue to heat up all summer, so Almiron’s future with Atlanta is uncertain. If the midfielder were to stick around, there’s no doubt he’d continue to lead the way for Atlanta. The Paraguayan is an MVP candidate this year and as he continues to improve and polish his game, MLS defenders should be fearful ahead of next season.
Overall Player Grade: A+