Darren Eales opens up on £21m January transfer he’s already negotiated for Newcastle United

Darren Eales sold Miguel Almiron to Newcastle United for £21million in January 2019.

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Newcastle United Chief Executive Officer Darren Eales has recalled the time he helped negotiate Miguel Almiron’s £21million move to Tyneside. Eales, who joined the Magpies board in August, was President at Atlanta United when the Paraguayan moved to St James’ Park in January 2019.

Almiron impressed in the five months when Rafa Benitez was manager but struggled to recapture that form during Steve Bruce’s two-year reign. Eddie Howe, however, is getting the best out of the winger, whose six goals this season is already his best return in a Newcastle shirt.

“I mean it’s funny because Miggy was one of the first signings when I was at Atlanta, and it was his dream to come to the Premier League, so it was one of those strange ones where when you did the transfer, probably more than any other one,” Eales said. “I was really pleased for Miggy as well. What I would say, I saw what Miggy was capable of at Atlanta, and no one could doubt his passion, commitment and personality. He’s a great guy to have around.

“No one’s more delighted than I that you’ve seen Miggy really deliver. He’s top scorer at the moment in terms of the squad. He’s just one of a squad of players that are all working their hardest. Eddie’s got everyone bought in. That’s a really exciting thing for Newcastle fans. You can see they’ve got that buy-in. He also understands the club and culture.”

Eales also set aside special praise for Howe for Almiron’s current. The 28-year-old is one of several players to improve under the former Bournemouth manager, Joelinton, being the prime example.

“I would say another shoutout to Eddie and the team, because I think what you’ve seen in everything Eddie’s done since he’s come in, it’s been about developing players. It’s not just about spending money and bringing in players from outside,” Eales added. “What he’s done with that core of that squad that’s just gone from strength to strength. You’ve seen it from last season. It was amazing to finish where we did, but with a pre-season, and the way we’ve almost kicked on again in terms of style of play. Eddie talks about ‘intensity is our identity’. From my perspective, the way he went on the front foot against Manchester City was incredible.”

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