Walker Zimmerman declined a contract offer from Los Angeles FC, which now spurs reports of interest from Europe. Will the LAFC defender stay or now depart?
American defender Walker Zimmerman has spent his entire career in Major League Soccer after joining FC Dallas in 2013.
It’s not completely clear if Zimmerman is 100% certain he will leave LAFC after just his first season with the expansion club. But with reports of European clubs showing interest, it’s hard to see the center back remaining in LA.
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Zimmerman has stepped up to anchor the defense of LAFC following the departure of Laurent Ciman. LAFC have struggled most defensively this season and it remains a concern as they prepare for the postseason. But at the moment, Zimmerman is a vital component of LAFC’s roster. He will likely hold that role next season as well if he stays.
After being sidelined with an injury for the middle part of the 2017 season, Zimmerman has rebounded well in the current campaign. Last year was a big disappointment as he struggled to regain form following the knee injury. If Zimmerman leaves LAFC, the newest club to join MLS will most certainly have to go after a defender during the offseason.
Moreover, being a regular call-up for the United States Men’s National Team last year, Zimmerman might see this opportunity to play in Europe as his path to securing a spot on the roster for the upcoming World Cup qualifying campaign. If Zimmerman can find playing time in a top European league, then he will further elevate his game and establish himself as one of the must-select defenders.
Just this past May, Zimmerman scored his first career goal for the men’s senior national team against Bolivia. He was not involved in the recent friendlies against Brazil and Mexico as he did not make the roster, however, and it will certainly be a motivation of his for turning towards Europe.
At 25, this could be one of the final opportunities for Zimmerman to play abroad in his career. As such, this will be a tough choice as he has been able to find regular minutes in MLS. The same might not be said if he moves to a club where the playing time may not come in such large quantities.
With leagues such as the Bundesliga, Ligue 1, and the Premier League being listed as possible destinations, this might be too hard of an offer to pass if any concrete offers surface come January. We will have to wait and see, but Zimmerman will surely be tempted by the allure of Europe. And who can blame him?