Exclusive: Atlanta United coach & ex-Magpie Stephen Glass reveals how ‘fearless’ Miguel Almiron can be a South American trailblazer at Newcastle, just like Nobby Solano

Former Newcastle United winger Stephen Glass is coach of Atlanta United 2 (Picture credit: Atlanta United).
Former Newcastle United winger Stephen Glass is coach of Atlanta United 2 (Picture credit: Atlanta United).

Miguel Almiron has the skills, attitude and talent to not only light up the Premier League, but also change preconceived ideas on the standard of the MLS.

That’s the view of former Newcastle United winger, and current Atlanta United coach Stephen Glass.

Miguel Almiron.

Miguel Almiron.

Glass is head coach of Atlanta United 2, the USL affiliate side - often called reserves this side of the pond- of Almiron’s former MLS employers.

The Scottish winger, signed by Kenny Dalglish at United, has seen first-hand just how special Almiron’s talent is on the pitches at Atlanta’s training base.

And Glass, now 42, is in absolutely no doubt Almiron can dispel plenty of myths about the standard of football in the US, as well as blaze a trail for others stateside.

“Newcastle United have got a very special talent on their hands in Almiron,” said Glass, speaking exclusively with the Gazette.

Stephen Glass spent three years at Newcastle, having been signed for around 650,000 from Aberdeen by Kenny Dalglish in 1998. (Picture credit: Atlanta United).

Stephen Glass spent three years at Newcastle, having been signed for around 650,000 from Aberdeen by Kenny Dalglish in 1998. (Picture credit: Atlanta United).

“He is a fearless footballer, very attack-minded.

“Having been at Newcastle I know exactly what the Geordies appreciate and Almiron has it in abundance. He is someone who has no fear with the ball at his feet but will also work very hard without it.

“He is a very dangerous player and will work for the team.”

Glass, who played for United between 1998 and 2001, continued: “The MLS is a very different style, a different culture to Europe, but there are some very good players at most of the teams over here.

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“A lot of European clubs will find some excellent talent over here, and like Almiron, everyone has their price.

“Football in the US is a totally different beast due to the travelling - teams travel the equivalent of the length of Europe for a league game.

“For that reason it is not fair to compare the MLS with other leagues.

“But if Almiron suceeds, as I expect he will, then you may see one or two others looking to signs stars of the MLS. He has the power to change perceptions with this move.”

It’s not just the Paraguayan’s skill set which Glass believes to be perfectly suited to Newcastle and the Premier League - the Dundee-born ex-United man thinks he is the type of character, away from the field, who understands just what it means to play for a club the size of United.

“I absolutely loved my time at Newcastle. I got how much it meant to the fans, and I was proud to wear the shirt. Miguel is a player who ‘gets it’, too,” said Glass.

“He was adored by thousands here at Atlanta, played to massive sell out crowds, so he will not be overawed by playing at a special place like St James’s Park. Every player wants to play at grounds like Newcastle, and I’m sure the Geordies can’t wait to see Almiron for themselves.”

The language barrier is something that has been mentioned with regards Almiron - but Glass does not see that as a problem. Just ask Nolberto Solano.

“People have spoken about his lack of English, but it is OK,” he said.

“I remember when Nobby Solano was signed at the same time as me - it’s fair to say his English was very poor to nonexistent.

“But Nobby was the type of character who really bought into the culture in Newcastle, learned the language and is loved by the fans. So these things can change very quickly.

“Nobby was a great personality at that time, and Almiron can has the capability to emulate that.”