It’s about that time again!
While the MLS Cup Playoffs have yet to finish, New York City FC is already gearing up for 2019. We’ve already gotten our first taste of rumors, ranging from Domé Torrent shockingly being reported to return to NYCFC next season while David Villa’s future with the club remains uncertain.
But now, we have our first transfer rumor!
According to AS — the same publication that reported Villa would be leaving after 2018 — NYCFC have begun pursuing 29-year-old Real Betis striker Sergio León.
New York City tantea a Sergio León como relevo de Villa https://t.co/fknpKIiiWF— Afición Betis (@AficionBetis) November 20, 2018
I’ll be completely honest: if true, this an underwhelming development.
Truthfully, I know nothing about Sergio León other than he has a semi-decent card on FIFA 19. But if we dive into the numbers, you are not getting a player who can ideally fit into the super-sized shoes that Villa will undoubtedly leave behind should he and NYCFC decide to do the whole “it’s not you, it’s me” thing.
Currently, León plays for Betis — his second stint with the Green-and-Whites — and has scored 11 goals in 31 appearances. Those numbers aren’t bad on the surface. But the caveat is that all of those 11 goals were scored last season and, according to what I have found, he has recently been replaced by the burgeoning Loren, who recently signed an extension with Betis through 2022.
León has never played outside of Spain, and his most successful years as far as goalscoring have came in the Segunda Division (he scored 22 goals in 42 appearances with Elche between 2015 and 2017).
Now, I’m not gonna be the asshole that insinuates MLS is leagues above the quality shown in Spain’s second division. But still, if NYCFC is seriously pursuing León as a replacement for Villa — or worse, a Designated Player — then I just cannot “fanboy” myself into being excited about it.
According to the article on AS, Toronto FC have also reportedly inquired about León’s services. Let’s just say I won’t be heartbroken if the Six land him in the coming months.