With Alexandru Mitrita playing in Saudi Arabia until further notice — possibly for the remainder of his contract — and Jesus Medina’s contract reportedly facing an overhaul next season, New York City FC find themselves in the advantageous position of being able to bring two brand new players in that will join Maxi Moralez on a Designated Player contract in 2021.
This past season, NYCFC has been nothing short of brilliant in both the midfield and on defense. But their attack has been inconsistent to say the least. With that in mind, it’s only natural that speculation regarding new signings immediately be shifted towards the attack.
We’ve done our due diligence. And after some careful research, here are some players that NYCFC might find worth pursuing as we drift into the 2021 preseason. Mind you, not all of these should be looked to as “DP” targets per se. While some of them could garner contracts worthy of a DP tag, some of these players could be signed on TAM/GAM deals as well, further opening the possibility of a big splash next season.
1.) Viktor Fischer
Current club: FC Copenhagen
Estimated market value: $3.8 million
To start things off, we have Viktor Fischer — the former Ajax stalwart currently plying his trade with Denmark’s FC Copenhagen.
At only 26 years old, Fischer is in the meat of his prime as a footballer. And as a right-footed winger usually deployed on the left flank, the Danish attacker could be viewed as a like-for-like replacement for Alexandru Mitrita.
Fischer excels with the ball at his feet and is also exceptional at set pieces. His passing ability has also been lauded in the past.
Since leaving Ajax in 2016, the Dane has struggled to find himself in starting squads with English side Middlesbrough as well as the Bundesliga’s Mainz 05. Since then, Fischer has become a perennial starter with Copenhagen and has made 62 appearances with 18 goals since 2018.
With a market price of just under $4 million, the Dane could be an attractive target for any MLS side that is looking for a quality attacking player. And if NYCFC are to continue deploying wingers of the inverted variety, there is no reason that Viktor Fischer shouldn’t be on their shortlist.
2.) Mesut Özil
Current team: Arsenal
Position(s): Attacking midfielder, winger
Estimated market value: $10 million
The prospect of longtime attacking midfielder Mesut Özil falling out of favor with Arsenal is a topic that seems to be as old as time. But as of recently, it seems that this recurring rumor has finally become a reality.
In a shock turn of events, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has left Özil off of the team’s Premier League roster. The German midfielder has also been excluded from Arsenal’s Europa League squad.
With such an accomplished player being left out of the proceedings for the 2020-21 European season, Özil is sure to attract interest from clubs all over.
But as mentioned before, Özil is a very decorated player — he doesn’t necessarily need to go anywhere in Europe.
Özil, who just turned 32, has featured as a prominent member of both Arsenal and Real Madrid where he has collected more than his fair share of trophies over the years. The attacking midfielder also hoisted the World Cup with Germany with their legendary performance in the 2014 competition.
A move to the United States could be in order for a player that’s pretty much done it all at this point.
Obviously, NYCFC already has a DP attacking midfielder in Maxi Moralez. But despite his lack of incendiary pace, Özil could be deployed on either wing.
At the very least, he’s definitely worth a look.
3.) Pelayo Morilla
Current club: Sporting Gijon
Estimated market value: $300k
OK, now we get younger and a bit more obscure.
Pelayo Morilla is a Spanish winger, currently attached to Segunda Division side Sporting Gijon. Despite making steady progress through Spain’s youth system, Morilla has not really had many chances with Gijon’s first team, instead being a regular in their reserve side.
Being at the tender age of 19, Morilla is a left-footed winger that is usually deployed on the left flank as an out-and-out winger. And at a transfer price that is reportedly below $1 million.
I know what you’re thinking — who the hell is this guy and why would NYCFC be interested in him?
Well, it’s simple.
Morilla fits in with City’s current transfer parameters; young players from abroad who are undervalued and/or under-utilized. That is exactly what Alexandru Mitrita was, and he turned out to be a damn good player. NYCFC also thought that of Jesus Medina, but that’s a different story.
If City aren’t willing to break the bank, a player like Morilla could be a good pickup even if it’s just on loan.
4.) Liam Delap
Current club: Manchester City
Estimated market price: $1 million
Using their ties to City Football Group is not an unlikely prospect for NYCFC. After all, players like Angelino and Yangel Herrera have all benefitted from spending time in the Big Apple on loan from Manchester City.
Here, we have a similar proposal.
Liam Delap is the newest striker project at the Mothership. Even at the age of 17, the Cityzen youth product has seen playing time at the Premier League level and has even scored a goal in his sole EFL Cup appearance. However, it’s unlikely that he’ll see consistent minutes in England’s top flight with players like Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus in front of him in the pecking order.
With that said, what better place to hone one’s skills then with NYCFC in the Bronx?
If NYCFC are given the opportunity to take this young superstar in the making on loan, do it!
5.) Gustavo Del Prete
Current club: Montevideo City Torque
Position(s): Striker, winger
Estimated market value: $600k
Remember those CFG ties I was talking about? Well, they don’t only apply to Manchester City. They also apply to Montevideo City Torque — among others — which is the same club current NYCFC player Taty Castellanos was acquired from.
Gustavo Del Prete has been the top striker at Torque for the last few seasons, scoring 14 goals in 36 appearances since 2019. And if reports from earlier this year are to be believed, Del Prete is not far off from a potential move to Manchester.
At 24, Del Prete is approaching the prime of his career. And a step up — even a temporary one — to NYCFC could be in the Argentinian’s future.
In addition to playing center forward, Del Prete is also capable of playing on either wing making him a versatile option in the attack.
6.) Florinel Coman
Current club: FCSB
Position(s): Winger, striker
Estimated market value: $6 million
If the name Florinel Coman sounds familiar to you, it’s because it probably is.
The Romanian winger was previously linked to NYCFC last October when the club apparently offered just under $11 million for the winger’s services from Liga I side FCSB. Whether the deal fell apart or never existed in the first place, nobody knows. But there’s nothing wrong with giving it another go.
Nicknamed “Mbappe” after the French wonderkid Kylian Mbappe, Coman possesses great pace and dribbling ability. As a right-footed player, Coman is primarily deployed on the left wing and used as an inverted winger or inside forward. Since his initial linking to City last fall, the 22-year-old winger has also began featuring for Romania’s senior team in international competition.
With teams such as Chelsea, Benfica, and Sporting CP all expressing interest in the youngster at one point or another, Coman could be a juicy target for NYCFC who could look to usher the winger into the early stages of his prime before offloading him to Europe for a big fee.
Coman’s compatriot Mitrita made quite the splash in the Bronx before his departure. Who’s to say lightning can’t strike twice?
What do you think of these transfer targets? Do you have any suggestions of your own? Let us know in the comments!