June 14, 2024

Former Atlanta United star and Paraguay international Miguel Almirón was slated for big things when he signed with Newcastle United back in 2019 for a reported MLS-record transfer worth $27m.

What he didn’t know was that he could be potentially opening the gates for other MLS players to make the jump across the pond into the English Premier League.

The attacker, who has been instrumental in the Magpies’ 2022–23 campaign, netting 11 times in 31 matches and bringing the team into the top four and UEFA Champions League qualification, has piqued head coach Eddie Howe’s interest in American soccer.

“I’ve watched a lot of [MLS] players over the years – thinking, seeing whether they could adapt to the Premier League,” Howe told The Daily Mail. “I don’t think it’s an easy thing to do, but I think it is possible, and I think Miggy would be a great example of someone that’s transitioned across brilliantly.

“This season especially he’s exploded into goals and some amazing performances for us. So we’re always on the lookout for the next potential star that we feel could make the difference.”

Undoubtedly, Howe’s remarks are cognizant of other recent transfers from MLS like goalkeepers Matt Turner and Gaga Slonina, who moved to Arsenal and Chelsea from the Revolution and Fire, respectively, and Colombian international and also ex-Fire, Jhon Durán, who moved to Aston Villa.

Howe has been impressed with the league’s homegrown players and the number of foreign players it has attracted over the last years. He’s also factored MLS talent into the Magpies upcoming Premier League Summer Series matches in Philadelphia, Atlanta and New Jersey, hoping to use the tour as a scouting opportunity.

“I do believe especially in the younger age groups there’s some real talent there, that has the potential to come and play in Europe, many of them,” Howe said.

“Many of the players will be good enough to make that step if they see their career going that way. And I think it’s a market and a league that’s improving as well. Every year I think the standard elevates with players and coaches also improving. So I think the potential is very, very high for what could be in the future for the MLS.”

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