The upcoming summer transfer window opening July 7 could be one of the most important in Atlanta United history as the Five Stripes are in desperate need of making a move to turn around the club’s prospects under manager Gabriel Heinze. At Dirty South Soccer, we will use the next several weeks to go through some names that might be uttered in the offices at the teams training ground as club brass deliberate on who can be added to help strengthen the team. Some of these may be more far-fetched than others, and we’re certainly not reporting any links between parties, but figured it’d be a productive and fun exercise. Let us know what other players we should take a closer look at in the comments.
Name: Thiago Almada
Position: Attacking midfielder
Club: Velez Sarsfield
Of all the players we will cover over the next few weeks, Almada is the “quiero contar contigo” target of the group. Quite simply, it’s not going to happen unless Atlanta United manager Gabriel Heinze’s pull has the gravitational force of the moon.
Thiago Almada is a young diminutive play-maker No. 10. But capable of playing on either wing. I know, what you’re thinking, but the Argentine has lots of talent and has called the attention of Leeds, Man City, and others.
Why it could happen
Heinze handed Almada his first minutes at Velez and since that time the kid has skyrocketed to become the one of the best players in the Argentine Super Liga. Tactically he would be a natural replacement for Ezequiel Barco if he is indeed sold to make room for such a signing. And at the end of the day, if he’s a Designated Player then Uncle Arthur’s checkbook can match or better any salary offer he’d likely receive in Europe. But speaking of money...
Why it wouldn’t happen
Velez holds a $25 million release clause which the club has already demanded from other suitors. Almada is under contract until summer 2023, and there are rumors of interest from some of Europe’s top clubs. As it was with Santiago Sosa, young talents are more likely to come to Atlanta United in search of playing time or a huge payday. But Alamda isn’t lacking that time, so unless European clubs have cooled on him and he’s not getting paid, let’s just say it’s unlikely