Once again the MLS has landed another soccer superstar and much like an online casino in Ireland this time the league have struck gold. It is once again an LA side that has landed the superstar but which one out of LA Galaxy or LAFC have acquired a new player to their roster?
LA Galaxy superstars
Since the arrival of David Beckham in 2007, the Galaxy have managed to attract household names from across the world and particularly from Europe where the some of the best football is played. Players like Robbie Keane, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Giovanni Dos Santos, Steven Gerrard and Ashely Cole have all worn the white and gold of Galaxy. However, the new boys in LA might be about to trump them with this new signing.
Who are LAFC?
Only playing the MLS for the first time in 2018 but LAFC are already trying to establish themselves in the MLS as one of the big hitters. It did not really click in 2021 like it did in 2019 where they finished top of the Western Conference and finished first overall. However, they were only able to make the semi-finals of that season in the MLS Cup play offs.
2022 has followed the way of the 2019 season with LAFC currently top of the Western Conference having only lost three games so far this year. With LAFC there have not particularly been any high profile purchases, besides Carlos Vela, that would put them in the spotlight as signing flops like other new clubs such as Inter Miami.
However, could this new singing put them into the same category if it does not work out? The attention was on Inter Miami when Gonzalo Higuain and Blaise Matuidi were signed and same could be for this superstar.
Who is the signing?
The big name signing that LAFC have agreed to sign on a free is the Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini, The centre back will end his 17 year stint with Juventus, who play in the Italian Serie A, and will join LAFC at the end of his contract.
How big is this?
This is a huge coup for any side let alone LAFC playing in the MLS mainly because Chiellini is still playing for his national side and until last year was still a major part of the side alongside his partner in crime Leonardo Bonucci. At the delayed European Championships last year he was a rock at the back of the defence and helped his country win the Euros against England on penalties. As well as having the joy of lifting the trophy alongside his teammates he was able to have personal joy as he was named the Best Defender of the Tournament.
This recent win with his country is just another medal on the table for Chiellini who has been a serial winner with Juventus. Having begun with Livorno, then co-owned by Roma and finally sold to Juventus (with a loan to Fiorentina) this is when he begun to pick up everything on offer after tasting his first league title with Livorno (Serie C). With 10 league titles (1 Serie B), 5 Coppa Italias and 5 Supercoppa Italianas to his name with Juventus, he is one of the most decorated Italian soccer players of all time.
Chiellini, nicknamed King Kong by his fans, made the Serie A team of the year for 5 seasons, the Serie A team of the year three times, the Champions League team of the year twice and also named in the Juventus all time side in 2017.
What are the details of the move?
From what is being reported there is no immediate hurry to finalise the deal for the 37 year old as he is currently on international duty with The Azzurri. They have played against Argentina in the Cup of Champions but then play Germany and Hungary in the Nations League.
After these games, they are anticipated to finalise the deal and add Chiellini to the roster very soon.
Will Chiellini improve the side?
His experience will certainly bring quality to the side and his ability to win leagues for fun could get LAFC over the line especially this season where they have a 9-2-3 record and need all the help they can to better the 2019 season where they fell to the Seattle Sounders in the MLS Play Off semi-final.
With some great Mamadou Fall, Sebastien Ibeagha and Jesus Murillo currently the centre backs with the club Chiellini is not arriving to replace them for the long term but he is certainly there for the short term. However, that is not to say his is just coming for a quick pay day and drift off into the Californian sunset then you have another thing coming.
Chiellini is a master of winning and you just have to look at the European Championship final last year where he held England’s Bukayo Saka back by the collar on the halfway line knowing Saka was going to beat him for pace but if he held him back he would only get a yellow card and stop the attack. LAFC need this nuance and experience in their ranks.
Welcome to Los Angeles King Kong.
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