Rafa Benitez reveals when Miguel Almiron could make his Newcastle United debut
Rafa Benitez says Newcastle United need Miguel Almiron "right now" – but he's not expecting too much, too soon.
Almiron yesterday joined the relegation-threatened club from Atlanta United in a £21million club-record deal.
Newcastle also signed left-back Antonio Barreca – who could make his debut in tomorrow's Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley – on deadline day.
Almiron, an attacking midfielder, has been earmarked as a No 10 by Benitez.
While United's manager knows the 24-year-old will need some time to adjust to his new club and English football following his move from Major League Soccer, he is prepared to give him an early taste of the Premier League.
"We have signed two players without experience in the Premier League, so they will need some time," said Benitez.
"I remember signing a player at Liverpool that people thought he had to work from day one, but I said we had signed him for five years.
"We need Almiron right now, but we have not signed him just for this month. He has the desire, ambition and conditions to do well. He can play in different positions – as a No 10 or a winger.
"He's not physically strong like Antonio Barreca, but that doesn’t mean they cannot perform or give us something we need.
"Almiron has pace and stamina and is a worker. We have different kinds of players that we didn’t have."
Almiron – who helped Atlanta win the MSL Cup in December – could be available for the February 11 game against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux if he gets his work permit next week.
“He will give us something different," said Benitez, whose side beaten champions Manchester City 2-1 on Tuesday night to climb up to 14th place in the Premier League.
"He has pace, he has ability, he can score goals and he's a worker. Barreca is another good option in a position where we needed something."
“Barreca is in the squad (for Tottenham), so if he has to play, he can play. Miguel will have a chance to be in the squad against Wolves."
Meanwhile, Mohamed Diame, Paul Dummett, Ki Sung-yueng, Jonjo Shelvey and Rob Elliot remain unavailable.
"Diame has been training, but he's not ready for the game," said Benitez.
"Dummett, Ki, Elliot and Shelvey are very close. I am quite positive because they are very close now and hopefully they will be available against Wolves."