The off-season for the Loons so far, has been, well, rather uneventful in the eyes of the supporters. An ambitious attempt at signing Colombian wonderkid Nicolas Benedetti was shot down last week, after an 8 million dollar bid was rejected. Rumor has it that Manny Lagos is still interested in signing the playmaker, but it might have to wait until the summer transfer window. Lackluster signings of prospects, and an aged fullback have been the highlights of the transfer window so far, while some could admit that those are not even highlights.
Two days ago, freelance journalist Jeff Reuter tweeted out that the Loons were among teams interested Simon Dawkins. Dawkins and the San Jose Earthquakes mutually parted ways over the weekend after a termination of contract. Hawkins would be an additional winger for the loons, while taking up yet another international roster spot as well. The idea of the player did not sit well with fans on social media, and so far, nothing else has been mentioned of him.
In more recent news, the Loons are now in for a new player. Luiz Fernando, a 22 year old defensive midfielder out of Fluminese in Brasil is the newest transfer rumor to be linked with Minnesota.
I'm hearing that #MNUFC is finalizing a deal for Fluminense defensive midfielder Luiz Fernando (22 yo). Expecting a loan-with-purchase deal.— Jeff Rueter (@jeffrueter) February 20, 2018
Fernando is recently recovering from an ACL tear last June, where prior to that, he captained their U-20 team. Fernando was most recently promoted to the senior team at the start of 2017. The Brasilian`s stats are nothing to be amazed at, with the player scoring 3 career goals, earning 1 assist and obtaining 6 yellow cards as a professional. The player clearly has a bright upside, otherwise there would be no interest in him, and he would not have been captained for Fluminese`s U-20 squad.
This could be a great signing for Minnesota, but I`d like to put an emphasis on could. Currently on our roster, we have players who are starting caliber as professional soccer players. The question that currently needs to be asked though, is are they good enough to be starting in MLS in this day and age? Personally? I don`t think so, I think there are an easy 4 positions in our starting 11 that need to be updated prior to kickoff in March, and signing a player like Fernando, does not, and will not fill that role. We currently need starting caliber players, and singing a prospect like Fernando, just doesn`t fill that role. We need bench players who can thoroughly challenge our starters every training session, every match day, and every day after that. Having a starting roster that some could say, is practically no different from 2017, will not suffice if this team truly wants to be a playoff contender. This rumored loan, with an option to purchase, reminds me a lot of the deal the Loons made with young Brasilian forward, Yago, during their NASL days. Yago didn`t pan out as player, and turned out to be a very lackluster signing for the team at the time.
I would like to put out, that I am in full support of our front office and technical staff, and will be excited no matter what for this upcoming season, but, we need more starting-caliber players to occupy the bench role for 2018. If the team can offer 8 million for one player, who says that money can`t be put toward 4, maybe even 5 players? Acquring a player like Darlington Nagbe for 1 million was a steal for Atlanta United, who says we cant make a coup like that? All-in-all, Fernando could turn out to be a phenomenal player for the Loons, but right now, it`s a waiting game, and Minnesota`s fanbase seems to be getting more and more impatient as the days go by. Will Minnesota United provide its fanbase and its team with a blockbuster signing before the 2018 season? who knows. All we know, is that we are by far the best United, and by far, we have the best fans.
Feel free to leave comments in the comment section, send us replies in the twitter feed, or just send us gifs—we always love gifs. As always, Go Loons!