The club still have a lot to answer for, with many questioning why on earth we took so long to back Benitez in such a crucial transfer window, however it is undeniable that today’s Almiron announcement is a huge moment – on so many levels.
Here’s what managing director Lee Charnley has had to say to NUFC.co.uk after Almiron’s signing was confirmed this afternoon:
“I’m delighted to bring Miguel to Newcastle United.
“He is a player who Rafa has wanted for a year and I appreciate he has had to wait longer than he would have liked. I would like to thank Rafa for his patience in waiting for a player he has coveted for so long.
“Given Miguel’s performances both in MLS and for his country, it was a question of when Atlanta United were prepared to sell him and, when they were, achieving a deal that made financial sense for us.
“I would like to thank Darren Eales at Atlanta United for his cooperation and the manner in which he has conducted negotiations.
“I would also like to give credit to Steve Nickson and his recruitment staff for their valuable contribution in this process.”
A good statement from Charnley, and interesting to see him admit that Almiron’s arrival came later than Rafa hoped for – with him also thanking Atlanta’s Darren Eales and head of recruitment Steve Nickson for their roles in the deal.
That’s two deals done today, with Almiron and Barreca both signing, however there’s hope that more are to come.