Who is reported Arsenal target Miguel Almiron?

"He's an atypical No 10. Because he gives you everything that a No 10 gives you and he probably dispossesses players like a defensive midfielder."

during the Eastern Conference knockout round at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on October 26, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Arsenal have been linked with a move for Miguel Almiron - but who is the Atlanta United midfielder?

Paper Talk: Arsenal set to land Almiron

Reports suggest Gunners head coach Unai Emery is set set to strengthen his options in January by signing Paraguay international Almiron in a £15m deal from MLS side Atlanta United.

Here's all you need to know about the 24-year-old ahead of a potential switch to the Emirates...

Miguel Almiron - Factfile

  • Age: 24
  • Position: Midfield
  • Club: Atlanta United
  • Nationality; Paraguyan
  • International caps: 12

Background

Born in Asuncion in Paraguay, Almiron began his career with Cerro Porteno in 2008.

Five years later he made his senior debut at the club, scoring his goal during a match against Club Rubio Nu in the Paraguayan Primera Division.

Cerro Porteno went on to win the Torneo Clausura in 2013 but Almiron made just six appearances as the club went unbeaten through the season.

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He made more of an impact as Cerro Porteno won the Torneo Apertura in 2015, playing 19 times and scoring five goals. His performances in his homeland attracted the interest of Argentinean club Lanus, who he helped win the Primera Division in 2016.

Playing in an advanced central midfield position, Almiron scored crucial goals against Lanus' local rivals Banfield and he also found the net in his side's 4-0 win against San Lorenzo in the final.

Miguel Almiron
Image: Miguel Almiron scored as Lanus won the 2016 Primera Division in Argentina after thrashing San Lorenzo 4-0 in the final

MLS career

In December, 2016 Almiron agreed to join Atlanta United for their first season in the MLS in an $8m (£6.1m) deal. He became a crucial player for the franchise, scoring nine goals in his first season in America.

at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on October 22, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Image: Miguel Almiron has scored 12 goals so far this season for Atlanta United

He's continued that form during the current campaign by scoring 12 goals and setting up 13 more, helping Atlanta United to the top of the Eastern Conference.

International career

Almiron made his debut for Paraguay in September, 2015.

during their game at WakeMed Soccer Park on March 27, 2018 in Cary, North Carolina.
Image: Miguel Almiron has made 12 appearances for Paraguay

He has 12 international caps to his name, featuring for Paraguay in both the Copa America Centenario and 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying.

Style of play

Miguel is a versatile player, who can play on either wing or behind a lone striker as a No 10. His stats so far this season point to a creative player who also has an eye for goal, but there is more than just goals and assists to his game, according to Atlanta United head coach Gerardo Martinez.

"Miguel has a commitment to the team, I'm talking about his commitment to winning the ball back, pressing, he's a player that's always working," he said.

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 02:  during the 2017 MLS All- Star Game at Soldier Field on August 2, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. Real Madrid defeated the MLS All-Stars 4-2 in a shootout following a 1-1 regulation tie. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Image: Miguel Almiron featured for the MLS All-Stars against Real Madrid in 2017

"He's an atypical No 10. Because he gives you everything that a No 10 gives you and he probably dispossesses players like a defensive midfielder.

"So as a player who always works hard, he's never absent in a game, even a game where your team isn't dominating the offensive facet of the game. It's very rare to find a game where he's not."

A perfect fit for Unai Emery's Arsenal? Listening to Martinez's review, he certainly has a lot of the key attributes the Spaniard likes to see from his players.

What they said

When you play with Miguel a lot of time you get to see the real Miguel, which is, he runs here, there, and everywhere. He chases back after every single ball, he fights for every single ball.
Chris McCann (Atlanta United)

Who's interested?

There has been Premier League interest in Almiron in the past.

West Ham and Newcastle were linked with moves for the Paraguay international last summer, while Inter Milan were also thought to be keen on securing the playmaker's signature.

However, according to recent reports, Arsenal are close to securing a January deal.

What he said

My objective has always been to go to Europe. I don't have a specific place in mind. I like the Premier League and I think they play a beautiful and competitive style of soccer.
Miguel Almiron to ESPN in July

How would he fit in at Arsenal?

With talks between Aaron Ramsey and Arsenal over a new contract breaking down, according to Sky sources, the Gunners could well be in the market for a new midfielder in January.

Ramsey, who is out of contract next summer, has been unable to agree terms over a fresh deal to stay at the Emirates Stadium. He will be able to sign pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs from January 1 and leave Arsenal as a free agent in the summer.

Unai Emery speaks with Aaron Ramsey during the Premier League match against Manchester City
Image: Aaron Ramsey's future at Arsenal is in doubt

But should the Gunners cash in on Ramsey in January, Almiron's potential arrival could well fill the void left behind by the Welshman's departure.

Ramsey started the first seven league games of the Unai Emery era at Arsenal in an advanced central midfield position and it's a role Almiron knows well.

He plays behind the striker for Atlanta United and could well be Ramsey's replacement should any potential move to the Emirates be confirmed.

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