Newcastle United landed the most significant player on a relatively quiet transfer deadline day, signing midfielder Miguel Almiron on a £16 million ($21 million) move from Atlanta United of the MLS.
The Paraguayan international signed a contract with Newcastle that will keep him with the English club through June 2024.
Almiron a Proven Champion in MLS
Newcastle is struggling in the EPL this season, sitting in 14th place and only five points above the relegation zone. Adding Almiron, who helped lead Atlanta United to the MLS Cup title over the Portland Timbers last month, could help secure the club’s Premier League position heading into next season.
“The league is very competitive, this is a historic club, and [manager] Rafa Benitez himself were the main reasons why I am here now,” Almiron said in comments posted to Newcastle’s website. “I think it is a great responsibility, something beautiful for me, and I will try to offer the best I can to repay the trust the club put in me.”
Along with Almiron, Newcastle also picked up Italian wing back Antonio Barreca on loan from Monaco until the end of the season to help them in their relegation battle.
Crouch Back in the EPL at 38
One of the biggest attention-grabbing headlines of the day was the news that Peter Crouch was returning to the EPL. The 38-year-old striker who was once a key member of England’s international squad will be moving from Championship side Stoke City to Burnley in what is essentially a trade for Wales international Sam Vokes.
Crouch is no stranger to the EPL, having scored 108 goals previously for teams including Tottenham, Liverpool, and Aston Villa. And while he may no longer have the skills of an elite scorer at his advanced age, the hope is that he might have enough left in the tank to help Burnley avoid relegation. The club currently sits in 17th place, just four points ahead of Cardiff City in the final relegation position.
Brexit Uncertainty Clouds Transfer Deadline
The biggest news of the day may have been the moves that weren’t made. For the most part, the “Big Six” of the EPL were quiet, with only Arsenal making a move to loan midfielder Denis Suarez from Barcelona.
Some of the top teams had made major moves well before the transfer deadline, including Chelsea, who brought in Gonzalo Higuain on loan and paid a £58 million ($76 million) fee to bring in American winger Christian Pulisic (though he will remain with Borussia Dortmund on loan until the end of the season).
There has been some speculation that players and clubs alike may be nervous to make big moves with the uncertainty surrounding Brexit – the upcoming departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union. However, news agency AFP quoted a British-based agent as saying that he had yet to see a change in behavior from clubs as a result of the imminent UK withdrawal.
With few changes for the teams at the top of the table, the transfer deadline didn’t have a major impact on the EPL odds this season. Liverpool remains the 4/9 favorite to win the league at William Hil, ahead of Manchester City (13/8) and Tottenham (20/1).