Remember that whole thing about New York City FC being in desperate need of a striker? Well, that might be coming to an end soon. That is, if the rumor mill is to be believed.
A recent report from Croatian sports news outlet Sportske Novosti states that HNK Rijeka forward Héber has been linked to MLS.
The two teams mentioned by name? NYCFC, and the rival New York Red Bulls.
New York City FC or New York Red Bulls are interested in signing Brazilian left winger Héber. He plays for Croatian club HNK Rijeka and is valued at $4.3 million. He nearly completed a move to China last month, but it did not materialize.(Sportske novosti) #NYCFC #RBNY pic.twitter.com/PfoolEhACV— MLS Transfer Alerts (@MlsTransferFeed) March 14, 2019
This is spicy, isn’t it? Firstly, let’s talk about the player.
Héber Araujo dos Santos — known simply as Héber — is a versatile Brazilian forward who is known to score goals in bunches. Primarily a left winger, Héber is also adept at the No. 9 position and seems to feature there plenty for Rijeka since joining the Croatian side in 2017.
In his first season with Rijeka, Héber scored 16 goals in 23 appearances. And so far this season, he has scored 9 goals in 15 appearances. Those are some seriously clinical numbers.
Cue the highlight tape with repetitive music!
I know highlight montages like this don’t always tell the whole story. But if this is Héber at his very best, then he is overqualified for the center position in NYCFC’s front three.
But that’s not the only exciting thing about this entire rumor. A big part of my intrigue is due to the fact that the Red Bulls reportedly want him as well.
Thus far, the Hudson River Derby has mostly been fought on the pitch and among supporters. Unlike some of the rivalries among European giants (Arsenal-Tottenham comes to mind), there hasn’t been a bidding war between the two for the same player yet. And something like this can breathe new life into what is already a pretty hot rivalry.
One could only hope that Claudio Reyna & Co. get their hooks into this guy before the Jersey Boys do. Because beating the Red Bulls isn’t enough — I’d like for us to piss them off a little bit, too.