By, Kyle Gibson
Rumors have been flying around for awhile now about New York City FC (NYCFC) and a transfer for Italian legend Andrea Pirlo, currently with Serie A Champions Juventus.
Pirlo’s contract is set to expire soon and the 36 year old midfielder is more than likely eyeing a larger payday and an ease to a more low-stress league.
Not that MLS doesn’t provide some stress. Players are quick, summers are hot and not every team has grass, something players like Thierry Henry could not cope with.
However, to me, this deal (if it indeed is finalized) demonstrates that NYCFC is indeed an ambitious club that’s trending in the right direction.
Here are three reasons why Pirlo is a good move.
1) This will be the club’s fourth big signing. The team sprang quickly to sign Spain and Barcelona legend David Villa as its first player. Villa alone was a marquis signing.
The club didn’t stop there, also adding Chelsea and England legend Frank Lampard. Lampard is due to play soon after spending the season at NYCFC parent club Manchester City.
To add American flair to the side, it also signed American midfielder Mix Diskerud. Pirlo will be just the latest star to join the blue side of the Big Apple.
Many were worried that Manchester City would just treat its New York club as a side project, but these signings would seem to suggest an “in it to win it” attitude.
2) Pirlo’s age isn’t a huge factor necessarily. Even though he is 36, Pirlo hasn’t seen a big regression in recent years. Deep-lying midfielders are thought to not age as fast as other players, because the position is more about instinct than physicality.
The American heat may cause problems, but I think Pirlo still has a few strong seasons in the tank.
3) Pirlo can only help this team. I’m thinking in terms of the other designated players here. Pirlo is the kind of player that can make all of them better. He will provide better service for Villa, who still has tight control, but can’t beat as many defenders 1v1 like his glory days.
He can also free Lampard and Diskerud to play further forward and can hit the speedy wingers with ease from way back in the midfield.
He’s also a major scoring threat from long shots and free kicks.
This is a deal that could really help NYCFC get over the hump and push for a playoff spot.