Reports from Argentina indicate that 25-year-old center-back Nicolas Figal is the subject of interest from Inter Miami. He would fill a much-needed defensive gap for the MLS expansion side.
As preseason begins, Inter Miami will look to continue their roster-building process. And this week, reports claim that Independiente center-back Nicolas Figal will be the next Argentinian export to sign with the South Florida club.
At only 25, the club would get an experienced central defender in his prime, at a relatively low price that will surely strengthen a position that the team so desperately needed. He has also already been called up for an Argentina squad and Independiente are keen to keep hold of him despite strong Miami interest.
Standing at 5-foot-11 and possessing the ability to carry the ball out from the back, Figal uses his speed and agility to skillfully avoid opposition players with the hopes of having a shot on goal.
During his time with Independiente, Figal completed 81% of his passes and had successfully completed 79 % of his dribbles. Given his tendency to roam forward, it is no surprise that he has the itch to occasionally channel his inner striker and maneuver himself into goalscoring positions.
As for defending, Figal is a warrior, he uses his physicality and strength to throw his body on the line regardless of the situation. He excels at tackling and doesn’t mind doing the dirty work, especially if his center-back partner happens to mess up.
In Diego Alonso’s system, there is a focus on pressing high and winning the ball back as quickly as possible.
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If the opposing side does manage to break through the first line of the press, more often than not, a center-back will be forced to step in and cut off an offensive play before it has time to develop. It is a difficult skill to execute, requiring the vision to sense the danger, the courage to step out of the defensive line, and the timing and athleticism to do so without vacating your position and leaving the defense vulnerable in behind.
Thankfully for Alonso and Inter Miami, Figal’s game thrives in moments like this. He is not afraid to take a risk and step out from his position with the hope of stealing the ball back to start a counter. He also has a knack for switching the field of play with longballs if the attack happens to break down.
If Figal plays his cards correctly, he could very well be the starter from day one. With training camp starting up and Inter Miami’s center defending looking a bit shaky, Figal’s inclusion to the squad couldn’t come at a better time.