It feels like forever since New York City FC announced the signing of midfielder Nicolás Acevedo from Uruguayan club Liverpool F.C. back in March. But after three months of being away from the team due to surge of COVID-19 (coronavirus) cases in New York throughout the Spring, the young Uruguayan finally joined up with NYCFC last week for training.
As of right now, New York City’s midfield is pretty much the definition of ‘stacked’ and consists of players such as Designated Player Maxi Moralez, Alexander Ring, Keaton Parks, and James Sands in addition to supplemental talents like Gedion Zelalem, the young Justin Haak, and the seldom seen Juan Pablo Torres. This leaves what role Acevedo could play in this equation very much an unknown variable.
In a media conference call on Wednesday, manager Ronny Deila dished his opinion of where Acevedo fits in.
“I see him as a No. 6, or a double No. 6,” Deila said of Acevedo. This leaves the midfielder in competition with both team captain Ring and the young, highly touted Sands. Of course, this can be somewhat remedied should the Ringleader be deployed in a box-to-box role and Sands be utilized as a center back where he has been effective in the past.
Acevedo’s Transfermarkt profile states that his expertise is primarily in the defensive midfield, though he is capable of playing center despite being relatively undersized — he stands at only 5’8.
Regarding Acevedo’s fitness levels coming into training, Deila has been impressed by the 21-year-old. “His fitness level’s really good. But he hasn’t... trained with a club in three, three and a half months.”
According to NYCFC’s press release upon signing Acevedo, the Uruguayan international has “drawn interest from teams across the world” over the past year. This would make him an extremely valuable asset to the club and I can only imagine that this kind of aura will lead to minutes sooner rather than later.