As the transfer window looms closer, it is becoming more and more apparent that NYCFC will attempt to revive their squad, via transfers. Rumors have been flying all throughout different sources, and this will be a compiled list of rumors with the most credit behind them. All rumors will have sources behind them to back them up.
Roberto Abramowitz, NYCFC’s play-by-play announcer and member of ESPN Deportes has stated that NYCFC will sign Athletic Bilbao’s veteran right back Andoni Iraola on a free transfer.
The move has a lot of movement behind it and this source (hasn’t been proven reliable) makes it seem like the move is official. Iraola’s Wikipedia page has also been updated to state that he plays for NYCFC. However, until NYCFC announces the move, it can not be deemed official. The move will likely be announced soon.
Iraola is a Spaniard who has been with Athletic Bilbao since 2001. He spent two years on the B-team Bilbao Athletic, but has made 510 appearances and scored 38 goals for Athletic Bilbao.
This past season, Iraola struggled appearing in only 16 La Liga games and only managed one goal and one assist. This may be due to Iraola’s age as he is now 32-years-old.
Iraola has played in both the Europa and Champions League and brings a wealth of experience along with a winning pedigree to NYCFC.
Defense has been an issue for NYCFC this season, especially the wingbacks and Iraola will be an anchor on the right side of the pitch. If needed, Iraola can also move into the midfield and can handle himself going forward, but he is primarily a right back.
Iraola is not expected to be signed as a designated player which leaves another space for an elite player open during the transfer window for NYCFC.
With the signing of Iraola, NYCFC continue to bring Spanish players into the program, with David Villa and Pablo Álvarez already on the roster, along with the potential addition of Angelino (more on that later).
Angelino, a Manchester City youth product is reportedly being sent on loan to NYCFC according to the same source.
Similar to Shay Facey, Angelino is being sent to the MLS for increased playing time and experience before ultimately being sent back to Manchester to play in the first team. Angelino is extremely young but looks incredibly promising. NYCFC has struggled on the wing and Angelino, a left back, could be a difference maker.
Angelino excels at going forward as he has excellent pace and can cross with pretty good accuracy. He is also a solid free kick taker. However going forward can cause issues as he does leave holes in the defense that the left center back is forced to cover.
It is good to see that NYCFC is continuing to take advantage of the benefits of having a sister club with this move as they are addressing a weak point in their defense with a young prospect who could be a great player in the MLS.
Playing for Manchester City’s under-21 team, the Spaniard has thrived. On April 4 playing against Leicester, Angelino bagged a hatrick in a 4-2 victory for Manchester City.
Shay Facey is reportedly staying at NYCFC past his current loan spell which was set to end on June 30.
Facey should be excited to link up with fellow Manchester City loanee Angelino in the defense. While he has not been perfect, Facey has been a solid defensive player and is still only 20-years-old.
NYCFC should be grateful that he will be on the roster past June 30.
Ian Joy of YES Network reportedly stated that NYCFC plan to add 5-6 players in addition to designated player’s during the upcoming transfer window.
If this rumor is true, NYCFC would definitely climb up the standings and inch closer to a playoff berth which is the goal for the rest of the season.
If these 5-6 players do include Iraola and Angelino, there could still be three or more players on the way along with another designated player on top of that. Some areas of need are a physical striker to take defensive pressure off of David Villa. This role was supposed to be Adam Nemec’s, but he has underperformed thus far.
NYCFC also could use a physical holding midfielder. Andrew Jacobson does fit this role, but he goes forward too much to be truly called a holding midfielder.
These additions could be pivotal in NYCFC’s postseason quest and it will be interesting to see how the transfer window turns out.
It is good to see NYCFC is addressing their issues and continue to try and improve and grow as a team.
All Statistics via WhoScored.com unless otherwise noted.