Leandro Gonzalez Pirez may not be an Atlanta United player next season, but instead of sulking, we can look toward the future and check out some potential replacements.
A note before we get started: this is for fun. This is not reporting. This is browsing around the Football Manager 2020 database to look at some player profiles. If this is your first time, check out some of our older posts for players we’ve dug up already, including Franco Escobar and Ezequiel Barco.
Dario Van Den Buijs
May I direct you to the second half of this video that shows van den Buijs’ range of passing, containing both incisive vertical passes along with rangy diagonals to the wide players. A Belgian would certainly be a first for Atlanta, but he has experience in the Eredivisie. And most importantly, he is likely nearing the end of his deal, lowering his price.
No decent compilation of Simpson since he’s still a fringe player at Bournemouth, but here’s a cool fan-cam of a goal he scored in the EFL Cup against Middlesbrough in 2017.
Anyway, about Simpson, it’s unrealistic to expect an English player who’s made a handful of Premier League starts in his career to make a permanent move to MLS. But a loan move might be the perfect movefor a player like Simpson. Bournemouth can give the center back regular competitive starts in a league where an English player can settle quickly, and use the season to analyze his prospects for the long term (which could include a sale if the MLS fishbowl creates a market for his services).
No highlight video seems to exist for Cardona, which is potentially a good thing as it may suggest he’s under the radar. His FM profil is a dream — honestly exactly what you want to see. The other nice thing here is that he doesn’ play for one of the Argentine giants, so he may be more eager to move to a more visible league with state of the art facilities.
Hector Martinez is not as polished as some others on this list as he’s still a growing prospect. The video is from three years ago, but even then you can see the sharpness Martinez has in the tackle. He’s also the rangiest center back in this group, which would be a nice traight to have on a large pitch like the one at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Cameron Carter-Vickers makes sense in every way possible. Tottenham recently recalled him from his loan at Stoke City, meaning he is as available as a player can possibly be. He’d be especially attractive to an MLS team seeing as he’s a domestic player. And when you consider Darren Eales’ connection to Tottenham, that Carter-Vickers was teammates with Emerson Hyndman on the USMNT U-20 team Hyndman captained in New Zealand, or even the fact that the Atlanta Falcons are playing a damn game in Tottenham Hotspur Stadium next season, it makes an eerie amount of sense.
Leandro Vega doesn’t try to be anything more than a solid, duel-winning center back, something Frank de Boer may prefer over a more dynamic player at the position. He’s another player that is in opportune moment in his contract with a club that could be looking to cash in (though his cost would still be relatively meager).
Who is your preferred LGP replacement?
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Dario van den Buijs