The 24-year-old Paraguay international was unveiled at St James’ Park on Thursday afternoon, but without fanfare and the thousands of fans who turned out to witness the arrivals of predecessors Alan Shearer in 1996 and Michael Owen nine years later.
Nevertheless, his capture from MLS side Atlanta United has created a buzz on Tyneside as the Toon Army prepare for their first sight of a man whose talents they have so far been able to view only on a YouTube video.
Asked if he had compiled the impressive set of clips himself, Almiron said: “No. My best mate made the compilation.”
He added with a smile: “You’ll only see if that was true when I play.”
Almiron’s signing, for a fee believed to be in the region of £21million, went some way towards placating manager Rafael Benitez, who had grown increasingly exasperated by the club’s transfer business in recent windows.
The Spaniard is hoping for big things from a man who was at the top of his list, although Almiron has brushed off suggestions he could establish himself as a hero on Gallowgate.
He said: “I don’t for one minute consider myself to be an idol or a hero. What I want to try and do is my best for this club and help out my team-mates by doing what I can out there on the field.
“Every player who comes to the Premier League comes with a dream to achieve something big, and it’s similar with me.
“I want to work really hard to help my team-mates as a group and bring something to the team, add quality.”
The diminutive Almiron comes from a humble background in Asuncion, where his father worked as a security guard and his mother in a supermarket before his success allowed them to retire.
He has been described by former team-mate Kenwyne Jones as “an animal” on the pitch and nicknamed “the lizard” for the way he runs.
He is a Christian – he has a quotation from scripture, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”, tattooed on his right forearm – and attends church when he can.
The midfield playmaker, who could make his debut at Wolves on Monday evening, said: “I’m not an angel, though I try to go every so often to church to put right my sins.”
Copy provided by Press Association Sports
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