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: Agustín “el caniche” Urzi
Position: LW, RW, LM
Club: Banfield (Argentina)
Personality. Nicknamed “the poodle” with lots of pace and flair. Add decent crossing technique. Described as having “Road-Runner” style a la Villalba but also the commitment to get back on defense, earns a few cards at times.
The hesitations come with a look at the stat sheet- He’s only scored 2 times from 53 appearances (adding 3 assists). Pretty low passing percentages, but that could be due to Banfield style as well as his risk taking. Averaging 1.6 shots 1.6 key passes, 1.9 successful dribbles and 4 bad touches per game this past abbreviated season. He looks like he’d fit well in a physically demanding system, though not necessarily a system that values a lot of possession.
Why it could happen
He has or had a $20 million release clause (but COVID changes things). Valued at around $7 million he can be more attainable than other targets and the prospect of playing time and money could be enough to bring him stateside. He had been coming off the bench for a bit this past season. His change of pace and courage to dribble at opponents combined with crossing ability is a mixture you'd like to see more of in the roster. Tom Robinson thought him a better shooter than had been seen thus far. (Villalba had 66 appearances with 10 goals and 6 assists in his first 3 seasons compared to Urzi's 47/2/3) He also has a bit of a nasty streak I bet Heinze would like. He's also been quoted to have said
Why it wouldn’t happen
Lots of Tier 1 clubs sniffing around: Roma and Inter Milan (reportedly in May 2020) already came asking for him and Banfield rejected Inter’s loan proposal and wanted a cool 8 million for his rights. He’s also in the preliminary roster for the Olympics for Argentina (though he also has an Italian passport). If such suitors are still involved it would be tough to compete regardless of money or playing time. Moreover, maybe he isn’t the goal threat Atlanta United are needing or looking for/his passing isn’t good enough and Atlanta decides to look elsewhere. He's 5'6"