Last week, New York City FC Ismael Tajouri-Shradi signed a new contract. The winger utterly deserves the new deal, which sets him up wonderfully for 2020 and beyond.
On Thursday, New York City FC announced Ismael Tajouri-Shradi had agreed to a new multi-year contract extension. The forward first came to NYCFC in 2018 from FK Austria Wien and has appeared in 52 matches for the club.
Known for his speed and goalscoring, the Libyan international tends to improve production in the final third. He has scored 19 times in all competitions. That number should only increase in 2020.
Tajouri-Shradi, or known by fans as Isi, began his New York City FC career with a stellar first campaign. In the 2018 regular season, he played in 27 matches and scored 11 times. However, in 2019, he battled an ankle injury, limiting his production. He still managed six goals, and when healthy, looked like his 2018 self. Thus, as long as Isi remains injury free, the 25-year-old should return to top form and could have his strongest season yet.
The new contract for the fan favorite was the right move for the Pigeons. To begin, his statistics alone illuminate how productive he is. But the stats only tell half of the story. Watching him play helps color in the lines. His speed and ability to move the ball up the pitch, his skills, his dazzling goals all prove his talent. He is also predominantly consistent when healthy. He is industrious, whether starting or from off the bench, while offering terrific versatility across the frontline.
For example, in the away game against Toronto FC back in 2018, NYCFC had the lead twice. However, despite being down to ten men due to a Jozy Altidore red card, Toronto managed to respond, tying the game each time.
While Isi scored the second goal in the 36th minute, his level never declined. He continued to push the ball up the field and refused to back down. He was not content with a draw. Then, in the 88th minute, his hard work was rewarded. He scored the winning goal with an astonishing strike. This example illustrates not just his talent but his diligence as well.
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The new deal will also resonate well with the New York City FC supporters. It helps connect a distant team to its fans and shows the growing love for the club of key players. In fact, when NYCFC announced the new contract, Tajouri-Shradi said:
"“I’m really happy to extend my contract to stay here with NYCFC who from the first day has showed me so much love. I just want to keep going with this amazing club in an incredible city. Since my first game at home, the fans have been amazing to me and the energy they give us every game is incredible. We have a really strong team and can achieve something bigger than the last few years this season. I’m excited for the start of the season and really happy to stay here for a few more years and win some titles with this amazing club.”"
In the end, like any player, Ismael Tajouri-Shradi will have to prove his new contract is worthwhile. But with his talent and assiduous work ethic, there is no doubt he will perform in 2020.
And so, when asking whether he deserves his new contract, there really only is one answer: Absolutely.