As reports stated that center-forward Julian Carranza could be out for an extended amount of time, who could be the next man to lead the Inter Miami line in his absence?
On Monday, February 10th, according to Miami Herald reporter Michelle Kaufman, Inter Miami General Manager Paul McDonough officially confirmed what many feared, the club’s star young striker Julian Carranza will miss the first couple of months of the season due to a left foot injury.
The 19-year-old is a promising young starlet that looked forward to his MLS debut. Fellow Argentinian team-mate Nico Figal even reiterated how important the Carranza is to the team, telling the Miami Herald:
"“It hurts to lose him like it would any player. By losing Juli, we lose a lot because he’s a very important player for us, a player who has a lot of promise, a forward that comes from a great start in Argentina. But we’ll try to replace him the best we can.”"
Looking at the club’s depth chart so far, Juan Agudelo, Jerome Kiesewetter, and Robbie Robbinson could all potentially lead the line. With Agudelo unfortunately picking up an injury in the club’s 2-1 preseason loss to the Philadelphia Union, however, who can replace Carranza in Inter Miami’s starting lineup?
The likely candidate would have been MLS veteran and USMNT international Juan Agudelo. Not only is Agudelo comfortable on the wing and through the center, but he can also play with his back to goal and run through the channels. However, as Carranza races to full fitness and Agudelo recovers from a muscle issue, Inter Miami and manager Diego Alonso will have to look elsewhere for goals.
According to the Miami Herald, McDonough reiterated that the club is actively looking for both a center-forward and a box-to-box midfielder. With rumors resurfacing out of Argentina that 20-year-old Agustin Almendra will indeed sign for the club as the third and final Designated Player, it remains to be seen who the club will pick up as a potential number nine.
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McDonough also mentioned that the club has closed the door on possibly signing 25-year-old Colombian Roger Martinez. If Almendra will take up a DP spot, Inter Miami will have to search for a high-quality center-forward using their Transfer Allocation Money budget.
The question is who? With Cavani out of the question, the team will have to look elsewhere, quickly, to find a suitable replacement. Robbie Robinson appears to be the next man up with him coming on to replace Agudelo when the 27-year-old went off due to injury. Even with Robinson’s inclusion, the team is still two strikers short of having proper depth.
As the regular season inching closer and the club’s depth at center-forward getting increasingly thin, it’s a race against time for Inter Miami’s front office to find the right number nine before their season opener against LAFC.
If Rodolfo Pizarro’s signing is anything to go by, the club will have no trouble finding a quality player that fits the type of soccer Diego Alonso is looking to play. But they need to get on with it because the 2020 season is looming.