There’s no which way around it — New York City FC Designated Player Jesus Medina has largely been a disappointment since signing with the club in 2018. The young Paraguayan thrived under Patrick Vieira’s tutelage early on in the 2018 season. But once the French gaffer departed for Nice that summer, Domé Torrent took over and it was all downhill from there. Medina struggled in Domé’s micromanaged system and was on the bench more often than he was on the pitch through the end of the 2019 season.
But since Ronny Deila’s appointment to NYCFC boss earlier this year, Medina has had somewhat of a re-emergence as a viable option both in the attacking midfield and out wide on the wing.
The Norwegian manager seems to fancy City’s Young DP. And credit to him — I had given up on Medina long before Deila was even a thought in our minds.
After NYCFC’s gargantuan 3-1 victory over Toronto FC this past Monday in the MLS is Back Round of 16 — in which Medina scored the opening goal — Deila told the press why he favors the Paraguayan attacker.
Young DP Jesus Medina fell out of favor w/ Patrick Vieira & rarely earned significant minutes under Dome Torrent but is part of the plan under Ronny Deila who spoke about the 23 yr old after 3-1 win over #TFCLive - Medina w/ 2 of the 5 #NYCFC goals at #MLSisBack #MLS @NYCFC pic.twitter.com/1W6uoJUuqc— Glenn Crooks (@GlennCrooks) July 28, 2020
“I think [Medina] is a very, very good football player,” Deila said. “He needs to still develop more confidence but when he works, he works like he does today... Defensively, he puts so much effort into the game. And he is also good in between the lines and he scores goals.”
It’s obvious that despite his past struggles, Deila believes in Medina’s quality as a footballer. And you know what? Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe all City’s youngest DP needs is the support of the staff to see out his large potential.
But don’t forget: he still has Ismael Tajouri-Shradi to compete with. So he better get his head down.