Rafa Benitez says he’s relaxed about Miguel Almiron’s £21million price tag – because of the money he’s made Newcastle United in the transfer market.
Almiron could make his debut in tonight’s game against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The 24-year-old, signed from Atlanta United, trained with his new teammates last week ahead of the club’s visit to Molineux.
And Almiron is expected to make Newcastle’s bench, having told Benitez that he’s “ready” to play.
“When you talk with him, he’s ready,” said Benitez, who has Mohamed Diame, Ki Sung-yueng and Paul Dummett back from injury.
“Mentally, he’s ready and he says he wants to play and is available. You can see him in training, he’s very dynamic, he’s always involved, so that is fine.
After five windows when we’re in profit, I do not have any pressure.Rafa Benitez
“But it’s the Premier League and the physicality and all those things, you have to cope with that.
“We will see how he feels and how the other players are doing. The good thing with the two signings and everyone’s fit now, everybody is pushing and wants to play.”
Almiron spent two years in Major League Soccer with Atlanta, who won the MLS Cup in December.
The Paraguay international must now adjust to the physicality and intensity of Premier League football.
“For us, the main thing, we are bringing in a player who was in the MLS, so we know he needs to adapt,” said Benitez.
“But he has the pace, the runs and the ability.
“We will see if he’s strong enough to do the same thing as he was doing in the MLS on the ball and without the ball.
“He is very dynamic, quick. I think he can cope with that (physicality) in games.”
Benitez wants Almiron to “run between the lines” for United.
“I would say he’s different to the players we have,” said Newcastle’s manager.
“And that is what we were looking for, running in between the lines and behind the defenders, and score goals and make passes.”
Almiron is the first player to join United from the MLS.
“We have the scouting department analysing everything,” said Benitez.
“There are some good players in the MLS. At times you have to bring them here to find out.
“There are some good midfielders, but maybe similar to what we have here and not the right position.”
Newcastle are understood to have paid £16million up front for Almiron.
That equals the fee paid for Michael Owen in 2005, though add-ons could take it to a club-record £21million.
Benitez, however, is relaxed about the deal.
Asked if he felt any pressure of the fee, Benitez said: “No. After five windows when we’re in profit, I do not have any pressure.”
Meanwhile, Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo has warned his side not to chase records as they hunt a fourth straight win.
Nuno’s side are in pole position to finish seventh, which would earn a Europa League play-off spot if the winners of the FA Cup also finish in the top four.
Wolves have beaten Leicester City, Everton and West Ham United in their last three top-flight matches, but have never won four consecutive Premier League games.
“We’re not here for the records – we’re not here for that,” said Nuno.
“What we are here for is to improve, to work as a team, stay humble and work hard, trying to achieve the best performance that we can in every game.
“This is the mentality that we have at Molineux against a tough team, and we have to work very hard, improve things that we have to improve and back in Molineux with the support of our pack, we’ll try it.”
Wolves beat Newcastle 2-1 at St James’s Park two months ago thanks to Matt Doherty’s injury-time winner, a result which helped sparked their upturn in form.
Going into December on the back of a miserable run of just one point from six games, the Championship winners have since recorded seven victories from 11 league games – including wins over Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur – and have also beaten Liverpool en route to reaching the FA Cup fifth round.
Nuno added: “I love everything about football.
“When we have these special last-minute goals that gives you so much, like Matt’s did at Newcastle, it’s very enjoyable.
“You can see by their last performances that Newcastle are very organised, very compact and with good players.”