Just a month ago, the questions surrounding New York City FC and their depth in the attack were ubiquitous and genuine cause for concern among the club’s supporters, pundits included. As we head into June, however, NYCFC have begun to bring in reinforcements.
Thiago Andrade was the first player signed back in April while new Young Designated Player Talles Magno has also been brought in. Additionally, Santiago Rodriguez of Montevideo City Torque has also been linked to a potential move to NYCFC over the summer.
Let’s assume the Rodriguez talk proves true and combine that with Héber’s inevitable return from injury in the few weeks — that’s a lot of new faces in the attack!
With so many weapons at Ronny Deila’s disposal, it’s only natural that others begin to miss out on the action. Below are three players who have the most to lose over the next few weeks.
NYCFC’s newest Homegrown signing has featured extensively over the past month and was even given the nod for the right midfielder position when Anton Tinnerholm went down with an injury a few weeks ago.
And though the 19-year-old has performed valiantly to begin his professional career, his services aren’t as valued as many of those ahead of him in the depth chart. As a matter of fact, I think it’s more likely we see Jassen be loaned out over the summer.
Shroddy Doddy scored his first goal of 2021 last weekend in City’s 2-1 loss to the Columbus Crew. A great accolade for sure, but it isn’t likely to help him much with two higher profile signings now with the club.
For the past few seasons, Tajouri-Shradi has been a force off the bench. But, for one reason or the over, the Libyan winger’s productivity seems to diminish when in a starting role. I’m sure Deila has noticed this as well.
ITS has been a staple in NYCFC’s setup since 2018 and signed a contract extension prior to the 2020 season, keeping him at the club until at least 2022. But the most recent developments might see him faced not only with bench duty, but a possible move as well.
I know — you expected Taty Castellanos to be in this spot, right? Not so fast, though. With everything in my heart, I love Héber. The man just radiates positive energy and good vibes, and you can tell how much he really means to the locker room and his teammates.
But let’s be real for a second: who had a better 2020 season? Despite having a brilliant 2019 with NYCFC in which he scored 15 goals in 22 appearances, Héber’s offensive production went stone cold in 2020 and only netted one goal in 12 league appearances. Taty, however, stepped up once the Brazilian went down and had a slew of good performances as the season went on, including a hat trick against the rival New York Red Bulls.
And thus far in 2021, Castellanos has continued to be the hand; he has scored 4 goals in 6 appearances and even generated a ton of interest from Brazilian club Palmeiras before signing a new multi-year deal with City.
Meanwhile, Héber hasn’t played a game of football since last September and is coming off of a serious knee injury. Plus, he will be turning 30 this summer. And as welcome as his return to the fold will be in the coming weeks, can you honestly justify him starting over Castellanos at the time being?
I’m sure Héber will find his way into proceedings one way or another. But I don’t expect him to be as omnipresent as we saw him back in 2019.