Tyneside has awoken from its slumber.
Newcastle fans can be forgiven for watching repeats of Miguel Almiron’s full debut again and again. Over and over.
Because 13 years is far too long to wait for someone of his calibre and fanfare to don the famous black and white.
Imagine having to sit there and witness every other Premier League establishment behave normally in the transfer market for that long.
Imagine knowing Michael Owen – a relic of the past and someone who jumped ship as soon relegation was confirmed – was still your club-record signing in 2019.
Imagine, then, the relief when Mike Ashley finally put the industrial sized Sports Direct mug down momentarily and delved into his deep pockets.
Newcastle fans have had to survive off scraps in recent years, Rafa Benitez working wonders on a shoestring budget.
But on Saturday’s evidence they finally have a new hero of the Gallowgate End, a new Angel of the North.
A caveat; this was only Huddersfield. A side who have scored once in their last seven games.
But the St James’ Park faithful were treated to an exhibition by their new Paraguayan prince, who duly created more chances than any other Magpies player in a single game since the start of last season.
Almiron’s MLS statistics suggest this was a sign of things to come too.
After back-to-back appearances in the MLS Best XI, recording double figures for assists in both seasons, he was ready for the challenges European football possesses.
“Wor Almiron, I want to count on you” a banner read anticipating his home debut after a bristling substitute cameo at Wolves the week before. No pressure, kid.
Inside half an hour he could have bagged a hat-trick – one an impudent dink reminiscent of Philippe Albert – but was denied the cherry on top of a breathtaking performance.
A rousing ovation to mark his removal was no real surprise and a symbol of satisfaction in its purest form.
From Laurent Robert to Hatem Ben Arfa, the Geordies have been equal parts blessed and frustrated by enigmatic mavericks down the years.
They’ll be hoping, in tandem with his South American partner-in-crime Salomon Rondon, he can put distance between themselves and the relegation picture.
Newcastle is a unique, one-club city and its fans deserve players of Almiron’s ilk, players who have the capacity to get bums off seats.
If he can strike a consistent tune, the Toon could finally have a new game-changer to idolise.
It’s been a long time coming.
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