Twenty-one-year-old Thiago Armada won the World Cup and received rave reviews from Argentina captain Lionel Messi. And what happens next for Atlanta United’s creative midfielder could be a record-breaking transfer from Major League Soccer.
In less than two seasons in Atlanta, Armada has become a bona fide MLS star. He was recently named the league’s Player of the Month, boosting an early bid for the year-end Player of the Month award. Armada has scored four goals and provided four assists in five games this season.
The $16m acquisition from Beres Sarsfield is on the verge of breaking the reported $27m payout Newcastle United paid former Atlanta number 10 Miguel Almiron. Nevertheless, the Armada’s rapid rise felt like a whirlwind.
He is a late addition to Argentina’s 26-man World Cup roster after Nicolas Gonzalez and Joaquin Correa were left off the list due to injury. Considered to be an important part of the future of the Argentine national team. His 30 days in camp in Argentina were invaluable life lessons for the young player.
“I tried to absorb everything I could, learn from my seniors and observe,” Armada said in March. “Then I had to show it on the pitch. The World Cup gave me a lot of confidence.
Armada scored his first goal for the senior national team on 23 March in a 2-0 friendly against Panama. Having made just three appearances in his home country, this midfielder has shown an impressive ability to play seamlessly within Lionel’s Scaroni coach’s diverse tactics.
Armada entered the game in favor of Argentina, displaying his best qualities and being able to work well with Messi in and around the opponent’s penalty area. These early flashes of potential earned him the highest praise from one of the greatest players of all time.
“Thiago plays loose. He’s very fast and capable in 1v1s,” Messi said before the World Cup. “He’s very smart and he’s not afraid of anything. He’ll go to you.”
Messi then described the Armada as a player with youthful energy and confidence, a welcome trait in the Argentine camp. “Thiago Tiene Mucha Fresco” Messi said. At just 5 feet 7 inches tall, Armada’s refined ball skills and precise control over speed make him one of the most dynamic U-22 players in the world. He can play as an attacking midfielder in his three-man midfield or as a wide player who can drift inside at will. Frankly, the Armada is his No. 10 in modern times. Enganche In South American soccer terms. Armada possesses incredible endurance, which allows him to press effectively and deploy as a two-way player. His playmaking ability, consistent goal threat and excellent set-piece accuracy have made him an invaluable asset to Atlanta United. Armada is also essential in how Atlanta’s build plays from the back and when the side attacks in transition.
However, he recognizes that his role in elite football is dwindling.
“Honestly, every day (No. 10) is getting less,” Almada said. athletic March. “I grew up watching[Juan Román]Riquelme and always wanted to play like him. But I consider myself number 10. Riquelme is my one and only idol.I was lucky to meet him.He was the last Argentinian football player. Enganche“
The Armada have a specific player profile and a possible price tag that could limit the number of European suitors Atlanta United will have. I’m sure you can play with
“He’s a good pro,” Atlanta United technical director Carlos Bocanegra said in October. “He loves the game. And at some point we know he’s going to Europe and playing Champions League football.
Which Europa League is best for Armada? And what Champions League level clubs would be interested in a player like the young Argentinian?
The best football league in the world is also the richest in the world. A few Premier League clubs have no problem with the value Atlanta United places on the Armada. Therefore, it is very likely that one or more teams will be interested. If Atlanta United and the Armada camp are targeting Champions League clubs, it will be narrower.
Manchester City’s wealth makes them a natural choice here. City have reportedly bid for him in 2020. Additionally, manager Pep’s admiration for Guardiola’s recent young Argentinian attacker is noteworthy. Armada’s Argentinian teammate Julian Alvarez was signed from the river in January 2022 for a reported fee of $17 million. Since then, he has played for Argentina at the World Cup (scoring four goals) and recently with City he signed a contract extension until 2028.
City’s latest Argentinian imports, like the Armada, are products of Vélez Sarsfield’s youth academy. Left-footed central midfielder Maximo Perrone has joined Guardiola’s squad this winter. Perhaps with recent contacts with Velez and Guardiola’s approval of the quality they have produced, Armada will be on the manager’s radar. I haven’t stopped spending a lot of money.
And why not Manchester United? If signing FC Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong is currently lost, a ball-progressive like the Armada could be a replacement. The team led by Erik Ten Hag would also benefit from more speed in midfield. United were associated with the Armada before going to MLS, but the South American hasn’t always flourished in Manchester red.
Both Chelsea and Arsenal are linked to Armada’s Argentinian teammate Alexis Mack Allister. Having just sacked Potter, there are mountains they have to climb to get back into Champions League qualifiers.
Liverpool, Newcastle United and Tottenham remain. While the Spurs are in turmoil, the Reds continue to battle for the top four spot. Liverpool are likely to rebuild their squad this summer and could open the door to a surprise raid for the Armada. The sale of Almiron made MLS history. The person behind the deal was Darren, the former president of Atlanta his United and now Newcastle CEO Darren He Eels.
Garth Lagaway, the new CEO of the Eels and Atlanta United, was teammates in America’s lower league football league more than 20 years ago. What would the story be like if Newcastle made a record-breaking bid for an Atlanta United player?
Let’s keep this short. La Liga president Javier Tebas said a month ago that it would be “impossible” for Barcelona to sign new players as the Catalan club is currently in financial crisis. Not a target, but an interesting addition to the Xavi Hernández project in Barcelona if possible.
Armada agent Agustín Jiménez helped place Argentines Rodrigo de Paul and Ángel Correa at Atlético Madrid.of Colchoneros The front office would be wise to add the needed pace and goals to Diego Simeone’s midfield. And Atleti, like Manchester United, have been following Armada since he was a teenager.
Wow, just wow.
Bow down, Thiago Armada! ✨ pic.twitter.com/UcF5fXJeUE
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 19, 2023
Real Madrid at the end. Change comes to the 14-time Champions League winner. First, head coach Carlo Ancelotti is the frontrunner to take on the job of the Open Brazil national team.In addition, a deliberate transfer strategy to keep Real Madrid young have has already startedThe new midfield of Aurelian Chuameni, Eduardo Camavinga and Thiago Armada doubles down on that intention.
Italian clubs are on the rise in Europe. AC Milan, Internazionale and Napoli have all qualified for the Champions League quarter-finals. A runaway Serie A leader, Napoli is playing the best football brand in the world with his style of play, exciting and direct, worthy of the Armada.
Armada is part of a new attack at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona if Napoli sell Víctor Osimén in the summer and move from Mexican winger Hirving Lozano ($46 million, making him Napoli’s most expensive deal). may become. His AC Milan, who beat Napoli 4-0 on Sunday, are much younger under Stefano his Pioli and have recently acquired new recruits.
Tactically, Inter Milan’s 3-5-2 under Simone Inzaghi lends itself well to line-break dribblers like the Armada. And Juventus? The old lady has 19-year-old Matthias Soule, an Argentinian Youth International and ex-Velez product. Can they add another one with Armada?
Portugal’s Primeira Liga has always been a hotbed of young talent. Especially he played for FC Porto and Benfica, home to some of the best players in the world. Portugal could be a temporary stopover before promising players enter the top five leagues.
Longtime Champions League sides Porto and Benfica recently sold Luis Diaz and Enzo Fernandez for a hefty transfer fee. Colombian Diaz was bought by Liverpool for his nearly $60million deal, while Chelsea acquired the Argentinian player who retains Benfica midfielder Fernandes for his $131million Premier League transfer fee. bottom. Both clubs clearly have cash to spend.
The league’s style of football is ideal for the Armada. Matches are fast and aesthetically pleasing due to the abundance of skilled players. Armada were able to adjust to life in Europe with less pressure and play for higher profile leagues.
The Dutch Eredivisie is also ideal for young stars. But if, for example, Ajax wanted to sign the Armada, he would undoubtedly become the most expensive player in Eredivisie history. That title is currently held by former Tottenham attacker Steven Bergwijn, who joined Ajax from Spurs for over $30million.
And then there’s the Bundesliga. German clubs continue to scout MLS for young players, typically American footballers.Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are the obvious contenders here. Both teams invest in young players and provide the Armada with a high level of football, but will Germany appeal to him if Premier League or La Liga top teams take their place?
Armada’s move to Europe is inevitable. His skills are undeniable, but his strengths and weaknesses make him an attractive prospect. It is unclear whether he will leave Atlanta United in the summer or winter.
Graphics by Jeff Luther.
(Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Getty Images)