Atlanta United’s late pursuit of Luiz Araújo has paid off.
The club announced on Friday that it has acquired the 25-year-old Brazilian from Ligue 1 side LOSC Lille as a Designated Player, as first reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Doug Roberson. Per policy, terms were not released, but according to L’Equipe in France and MLSSoccer.com’s Tom Bogert, the transfer fee is around US$11-12 million.
“Luiz is a player with great drive, a winning mentality, and is coming to us from a top club in Europe that just won their league,” Atlanta United Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said in a statement. “He has experience in big games, as well as UEFA Champions League and Europa League. We’re looking forward to him making an impact with the club.”
Araújo was a member of the Mirassol and São Paulo youth setups in his native Brazil, also featuring in the São Paulo side that won the U-20 Copa Libertadores. In 2017, he signed for then-manager Marcelo Bielsa and Lille, recording 4 goals and 2 assists through 28 matches as it won its 4th league title in club history.
With Atlanta halfway through its season and in the midst of a 12-match winless streak, it will hope that Araújo can boost what has been a flagging attack as it seeks to put itself in the playoff picture. The club is tied with Chicago Fire FC for 3rd-worst in the Eastern Conference with 18 goals scored through 17 MLS matches.
Welcome to Atlanta, Luiz!