It’s been a busy past week for New York City FC. The club announced on Saturday that American midfielder Keaton Parks had been brought in on a one-year loan from Portuguese giants Benfica. Then, on Tuesday, it was revealed that Ebenezer Ofori would have his loan from VfB Stuttgart extended through the 2019 MLS season. And rumor has it that more moves are to come.
On Wednesday, Romanian sports news outlet Sport.ro reported that Universitatea Craiova midfielder Alexandru Mitrita has been pursued by NYCFC, who have offered $6.5 million for his services.
#NYCFC are proposing to bid $6.5m in a transfer fee for 23 year old Romanian attacker Alexandru Mitriță. He has scored a league leading 12 goals and 4 assists in 16 games in Liga I in Romania. https://t.co/xpPp1HHwio— Jonathan Densa (@JonDensa) January 23, 2019
Mitrita — who is at the tender age of 23 — has been absolutely lighting it up in Liga I, Romania’s top flight league. As Mr. Densa highlighted in the tweet above, the attacking midfielder-winger hybrid has scored an eyebrow-raising 12 goals — in addition to logging 4 assists — in only 16 appearances with Studentii this season. And while I don’t know much about Romanian football, any kind of performance like that is sure to catch the eyes of the football-watching world both far and wide.
Known for his pace and technical ability, Mitrita has primarily been deployed as an attacking midfielder throughout his career. In addition to his service as a No. 10, the Romanian is also capable of playing both the left and right wings. Considering the fact that the attacking midfield in the Bronx is currently occupied by none other than 2018 MLS MVP candidate Maxi Moralez, it isn’t a stretch to say that manager Domé Torrent can use Mitrita as an inverted winger on the left flank, enabling him to cut inside and shoot on his dominant right foot much like we saw from right winger Ismael Tajouri-Shradi this past season.
These pros, however, aren’t without their cons.
According to WhoScored, Mitrita has some history with disciplinary issues. Despite being an attacking player, the attacking midfielder earned a caution in five straight appearances with U Craiova in 2018, and even got sent off in one of them — a 1-1 draw against Sepsi OSK on November 11 in which he was shown red in the 58th minute (he received a yellow earlier in the game as well). As a matter of fact, Mitrita has received 11 cautions and one red this season alone. According to MLS rules, that would be three suspensions and a collection of fines that equal to $1500.
Obviously, these are issues that can be handled with good coaching and guidance. And at the end of the day, NYCFC will gladly take the spark a player like Mitrita can provide, even at the cost of some tomfoolery here and there.