With one tweet today, Jeff Rueter anounced that the offseason frenzy has begun:
And apparently, this is not the first time Minnesota United has been contacted about Miguel Ibarra with the Seattle Sounders, New York Red Bulls, and Portland Timbers all inquiring about the winger this summer, according to Rueter.
The question now is, “Should the Loons listen?”
The Case Against
Miguel Ibarra is our Batman. He and best friend Christian Ramirez are fan favorites for a reason, and fans already had to say goodbye once.
Ibarra returned to Minnesota after a disastrous spell with LigaMX side, Club Leon. Fans were ecstatic. Ibarra added some great goals, tallied 4 assists, and despite some rough performances eventually played his way into the Starting XI. Not having Miguel Ibarra this season could have been a big problem.
Ibarra played this season exactly the way I remembered him playing at the NASL level. He was a speedy winger that was able to fly past defenses and get crosses into the middle. He is an asset that should be protected, and he has proven this season that he can compete at this level.
The Case For
There is no question that Minnesota United has a problem regarding Miguel Ibarra.
Ibarra is fast, talented, and a hard-nosed player. But the fact remains that he plays the one position where Minnesota has depth . . . and a lot of it.
When Sam Nicholson joined the Loons from Hearts and Ethan Finlay was acquired from the Columbus Crew, Miguel Ibarra was put in a sticky situation. Both Nicholson and Finlay made immediate impacts and both seem like pieces that can be built around. Ibarra did make some starts after the acquisitions, but moving him to a team like the Los Angeles Galaxy (a team he grew up loving) would make sense.
I understand the reasoning of not letting go of him over the summer transfer period. There was no guarantee that new signings or acquisitions like Nicholson and Finlay would make an immediate impact, so keeping someone who had been with the team since the beginning makes comeplete sense. But with Los Angeles FC joining the league, this offseason could be the time to make a deal.
What would I do?
Not that my opinion matters, but I would listen to any offers for Ibarra. He is a great player and has a special place in our hearts, but he should be moved to a place where he can start. Nicholson and Finlay appear to be the first choices at the wing position. Even Kevin Molino would be better option at the wing.
I’ll miss Ibarra, but I don’t think his value will ever be higher than it is right now. If the team could flip Ibarra for a player, a pick, or some TAM/GAM, I think the time is now to sell.
No matter what happens, you will always be Batman. . . .
What would you do? Would you trade Ibarra? Comment below!