With each passing performance, midfielder Keaton Parks’ value to New York City FC grows larger. Since earning his first start back in June, the 22-year-old Parks — who is currently on loan from Portuguese club Benfica — has been a rock in the No. 8 position in between advanced playmaker Maxi Moralez and the destroyer Alexander Ring.
On the surface, Parks hasn’t exactly been a stat sheet stuffer, only logging a single goal and an assist in 21 total appearances. He has, however, been the glue keeping everything together. In all games played, Parks has an average passing completion percentage of 86.1% and averages almost two aerial wins a game.
If there is any performance I’d point to to prove how valuable Keaton is to NYCFC in the present day, look no further than this past weekend’s game against the San Jose Earthquakes.
When on the ball, Parks is super composed and always deliberate when picking out his passing targets. Despite his 6’3 frame, the young American is deceptively mobile and agile when evading defenses, while using his size to constantly seal out his markers.
Currently, Parks is on a one-year loan from Benfica. And though it’s still early days in the European season, the Eagles are looking like a top contender to repeat as Liga NOS champions and have won 4 of their first 5 matchups on the season. And with Parks currently at the age of 22 and rapidly approaching his prime years, Benfica — depending on contractual obligations — will soon need to make a decision as to whether or not Parks fits in with their long-term plans.
This is where NYCFC can come in.
Still maturing as a player, Keaton is approaching the point in his career where he will have to make a bet on himself in an effort to escape the clutches of European reserve team football. And what better place to prove you are a quality talent than MLS?
Don’t believe MLS is a breeding ground/stepping stone for better things? Well, tell that to players likes Alphonso Davies, Zack Steffen, Miguel Almiron, Matt Miazga, Tyler Adams, or once our very own Jack Harrison.
By signing Parks, NYCFC would have a class midfielder who can fill a variety of roles for the foreseeable future, while also possessing a player that could potentially yield a steep transfer price down the line.
Make it happen, guys! We love this guy!