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Alexandru Mitrita loaned to Al-Ahli until 2022

NYCFC’s star DP will be in Saudi Arabia through 2021

New York City FC v Inter Miami CF Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Not gonna lie — this kinda sucks.

Days after the club revealed that their star player would be the only one permitted to leave on international duty, New York City FC announced earlier today that star DP winger Alexandru Mitrita would be going out on loan to Saudi Arabian club Al-Ahli after his international duty with Romania is completed.

The loan is will keep Mitrita in Saudi Arabia through the 2021 season, freeing up a Designated Player slot, as well as an international roster spot in that span.

Because of Mitrita being allowed to leave on international duty due to a “personal matter”, current rules because of the coronavirus pandemic would’ve forced the Romanian to quarantine upon returning to the United States. This would’ve kept Mitri out for the remainder of the 2020 MLS season, as well as some playoff games.

But City’s decision to loan out their star DP until the end of next season is where things become confusing. Even if he won’t be available for the remainder of this season, why make him unavailable for the entirety of 2021 as well?

This seems like an attempt to grant Mitrita a move without needing to sell him permanently. After all, nowhere in the press release is it said that NYCFC has the option to recall the winger at any time.