The January transfer window is still a little more than a month away, and if we were like most English or Italian “journalists,” we’d already be making up crap about “spectacular” moves and “stunning” bids. Then, none of the rumors would come true, and people would, for some reason, believe our crap again during the next transfer window.
But, here at USfanTV, we’re not lying bastards. Speculating idiots? Sure. But not liars. We have some standards, at least.
So anyway, I’ve been thinking about which USMNT guys I’d like to see make a move to a new club, and which ones I want to stay right where they are.
Three guys I’d like to see go somewhere else:
Michael Bradley: Our captain seems to be happy and thriving at Toronto FC, but there have been rumors recently about interest from a couple of teams in Italy. Grant Wahl recently reported that both AC Milan and Bologna are interested in bringing in the 29-year-old. And, of course, there’ve been rumors of a loan deal at Swansea from the moment his dad, Bob Bradley, took over as manager of that club. If he’s physically and mentally up for it, I’d love to see Michael go on loan during the MLS off season. I’ve wondered recently if his declining play for the national team was due to his move back to MLS, or whether it was Jurgen Klinsmann’s crap tactics. Selfishly, it’d be cool to see him go to Swansea over Italy so we can see him on TV all the time, but I would hate for him to have to deal with the “daddy’s boy” stuff again. I could see a loan deal going down, but a full transfer away from Toronto seems unlikely. I seriously doubt he’d get the $6+ million a year he’s getting in MLS, and he’s got small kids he’d need to uproot–although living near grandpa and grandma in Swansea might be a plus.
Darlington Nagbe: He visited Glasgow last week for the Celtic-Barcelona Champions League match, and from the looks of his social media posts, he enjoyed the atmosphere. Some analysts have said Nagbe’s mentally soft, or at least he’s the kind of guy who needs to feel wanted to thrive. The Scottish Premier League isn’t what it used to be, but it’s still a physically tough league, and playing there could help “toughen” him up, if that’s really what he needs. Timbers-Sounders is great, but Celtic-Rangers rivals anything in the world as far as tough atmospheres go. Whether he jumps to Scotland or stays stateside, I can’t wait to see him back with the national team under Bruce Arena. I just hope he doesn’t refuse any call ups again.
Gedion Zelalem: Remember the craziness surrounding his citizenship bid? We were losing our minds like we’d just stolen Ronaldo or something. We’re coming up on two years since that happened, and Zelalem still doesn’t have a cap with the full men’s national team, and he isn’t really playing with the senior squad at Arsenal, either, save a bench appearance or two in the League Cup (or whatever the hell it’s called now). Last season, Zelalem had a fairly unremarkable loan deal at Rangers. I’d like to see him go out again–somewhere–so he can get some first team soccer. He’s only 19, so there’s still plenty of time, but he’s starting to remind me a bit of the guy who discovered him: Danny Karbassiyoon, a guy with a ton of talent who never broke through at Arsenal or the USMNT like we’d hoped, although Gedion hasn’t had injury trouble like Danny. I’m not ready to see Arsenal sell Zelalem yet, but a loan for some first-team playing time could help.
Two guys I’d like to see stay right where they are, for now:
Julian Green: He looks like he’s ready to finally break through at Bayern Munich–Carlo Ancelotti said as much last month. Julian was on the bench opposite Christian Pulisic for Der Klassiker, just one of several appearances in the Bayern 18. And, Julian scored his first goal with Bayern’s first team a month ago, in a start against Augsburg in the German Cup. He’s right there, knocking on the door. Standing in his way? Eh, just some dude named Robert Lewandowski. But, Julian’s a Lewandowski injury away from playing a much bigger role, and Ancelotti seems to like him, so I hope he stays at Bayern unless there’s some kind of amazing loan opportunity.
Christian Pulisic: The Liverpool rumors won’t go away–Jurgen Klopp is prepared to spend big to steal back his old wunderkind. So should he go? No way! Not now. He’s killing it in the Bundesliga for one of the best teams in Europe. He’s playing for a fantastic manager in Thomas Tuchel. Is Liverpool even a jump up? Maybe barely, but it definitely isn’t a big enough move to warrant screwing with the great thing he has going at Borussia Dortmund. Ultimately, if Klopp and Liverpool want to throw around stupid amounts of Premier League money, it might be too much for Dortmund to say no, though. I just think Pulisic needs to stay put, unless a giant team comes calling.