Not long ago, Riqui Puig was considered the future face of Barcelona. At a time when the identity of the Catalan club is being questioned, the young midfielder is realizing what Barca want once again. She ticks all the boxes: petite, homegrown and very Talented. Puig is the next successful La Masia graduate at Camp Nou, so it’s a little surprising to see the 22-year-old move on to premier league football.
LA Galaxy announced on Thursday that Puig has signed a three-year contract with Barcelona. Galaxy head coach Greg Bunney said, “Riki is a very technical and educated player with great experience for his age.” It fits your style very well.”
If it were another summer, it would be a standout high-profile transfer involving an MLS club, and given Puig’s age and reputation, it might be the highlight of the activity this summer. But it wasn’t just the MLS summer. There have been a number of innovative deals happening across the league. In fact, it was the biggest summer in MLS history.
Puig’s move to the LA Galaxy comes just a month after Los Angeles FC completed the signing of Gareth Bale and just three weeks after Toronto FC acquired Federico Bernardeschi. Neither of these players is a typical MLS “retirement league” deal. They are far from washed out. They are not in MLS for their final paycheck. They have traditionally had other options closer to home in a stronger league, but opted to sign with an MLS club. it says something
Of course, big names have moved to MLS in the past. David Beckham, Thierry Henry, Didier Drogba, Steven Gerrard, Kaka, Frank Lampard and David Villa all played in MLS, but they played later in their careers. This signing has made MLS a destination in the transfer market, but only for those looking for an end goal.
This is where the dramatic changes take place this summer. It’s not just old superstars who consider MLS an option, but elite players in their prime too. Puig has reportedly received offers from Lyon, Monaco and Wolves. He also turned down a loan offer to leave Barcelona in the January transfer window, but LA Galaxy turned it around. Winning one or two productive contracts is considered a huge success. This could be everyone’s plan and could be at the heart of a transfer policy that will attract more top-aged players from Europe in the years to come.
Bale has ties to Premier League clubs and could have played in his hometown of Cardiff City, but MLS decided it was the perfect place to prepare for the 2022 World Cup and decided to move to this club. In the summer, he joined the national team together with his Italian teammate Lorenzo Insigni. He joined Toronto FC in Serie A, but no one believed that his move to MLS would affect his international career.
Cucho Hernandez doesn’t have the aforementioned big name, but the 23-year-old is still in the early stages of his career. Having just finished a season in which he scored five goals in his 25 Premier League appearances with Watford, he moved to MLS this summer and Columbus also signed a club-record deal with Crew. Noteworthy.
This summer has seen a shift in transfers by MLS clubs as well as those by non-MLS clubs. Jesse Lingard, for example, was on DC United’s radar shortly after Wayne Rooney was appointed as head coach, nottingham to believe he signed with Forest, but the DC United rink was to be trusted. Brought to life…it’s a possibility.
MLS was at a critical point in its development. The league openly aspires to become one of the best leagues in the world, and like Puig, Bale and Bernardeschi, the needle is getting a little closer to reality with each deal. The 2026 World Cup will be an opportunity to reach more fans, but his record-breaking $2.5 billion streaming deal with Apple TV is another sign of progress. .
But MLS may need to release his 28 members (soon to be 29) of the club to accelerate its growth. Ernst, the Philadelphia Union’s sporting director, explained how LAFC had Bale and Giorgio Chiellini under his cap and squeezed the two into he TAM (Target Allocation Money) contracts. explained. I publicly questioned whether I signed it. Tanner was fined by MLS for his comments, and while LAFC didn’t suggest breaking the rules, management across the league was thinking creatively about signing players they wanted. Some might argue that MLS is currently pending.
It can be tedious to watch everything that happens in MLS through the prism of the league’s continued growth and its place in world football, but this summer has made such discussions inevitable.Puig is 12 Signed with LA Galaxy months ago? Will Bale use the MLS for the 2018 World Cup final? Maybe not, but what has the league been like in the past? More and more players don’t know what happened or even what the future holds, but they do know what’s happening now.