Milton Valenzuela signed for the Columbus Crew on loan in January 2018. The young full-back has shone in his first season abroad.
Milton Valenzuela is having a career year for Columbus Crew SC, the young Argentine has shown flashes of brilliance in his first year with the black & gold after an offseason move from Newell’s Old Boys this past winter.
The fullback is having one of the best seasons in his position in all of Major League Soccer. The youngster came to Columbus after being scouted by the club for quite some time.
This season, Valenzuela has cemented himself in the line-up under Gregg Berhalter making 27 appearances for the club with 26 starts.
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Playing more of a defensive role with Newell’s, Valenzuela had to learn how to be more attacking when he arrived in Columbus. Berhalter’s system demands aggressive play from his fullbacks and Milton has been able to expand his game and produce offensively with one goal and five assists this season.
Valenzuela will be looking to add to his offensive output in the final three games of the regular season as Crew SC look to lock up a spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs. With an Eastern Conference stacked with speedy wingers and creative midfielders, Valenzuela will play a key role in Crew’s push to win a second MLS Cup.
The Rosario native’s performance has landed him in Major League Soccer’s 22 under 22 annual list. Valenzuela came in at 12 on the list ahead of promising USMNT prospects like Andrew Carleton, Derrick Jones, Chris Durkin and Efrain Alvarez.
Crew SC has an option to buy the youngster from Newell’s at the end of his loan spell this winter. The club has yet to confirm plans for the player and according to Columbus Dispatch reporter, Andrew Erickson, the decision will be made at a later date.
Unless the fee agreed on by the clubs is unreasonable it would be hard to imagine a scenario where Crew SC wouldn’t exercise that purchasing option.
Valenzuela has an extremely high ceiling and has experience at the international level with Argentina’s youth sides. With Crew SC aging in other positions, it would be great business by the club to lock up their fullback of the future now.
For now, however, it is enjoyable to reflect on a true breakout season for the young defender. He truly has burst onto the scene in ways unimaginable. Long may it continue.