Luis Binks and In-Boem Hwang secured transfers to European clubs. The pair of moves once again illustrates the explosive growth of MLS in recent years.
The summer transfer window can be full of uncertainty and Major League Soccer appears to have its first set of surprising departures. Montreal Impact defender Luis Binks and Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Inbeom Hwang both will be moving on to European clubs. The pair were among the brightest young players in MLS.
Binks has signed with Italian side Bologna and will complete his transfer in 2021. He will finish the 2020 campaign with the Impact. The former Tottenham Hotspur youth player was one of the better acquisitions of the winter transfer window and has been a regular selection in the starting XI for Thierry Henry.
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Hwang is only in his second season with the Whitecaps. After joining ahead of the 2019 campaign, as a Designated Player, the South Korean midfielder has been a key player for the Whitecaps and has been regarded as one of the up and coming midfield talents in the league. He will join Rubin Kazan or the Russian Premier League.
Binks and Hwang will likely not be the first young players to make an exit in the months to come. Players such as Brian Rodriguez, Brenden Aaronson, and Ezequiel Barco may soon be on the move to European leagues based on recent transfer reports. Much like Binks and Hwang, these players will have played a short time in MLS but their clubs will reap the rewards of selling them on.
Bologna and Rubin Kazan are both mid-table sides in their respective leagues. Binks and Hwang are not joining big-time European clubs. But they may gain more regular playing time as a result, which only aids their development as they look to commence their European careers.
Binks, too, is headed to one of Europe’s top leagues in Serie A, while Hwang will be playing in a league that can set him up well for the future. The South Korean is capable of making a move to a bigger league if he can find success in Kazan. Earlier this year, Transfermarkt reported that RB Leipzig had shown interest in Hwang. Kazan will likely be another opportunity to impress scouts.
Not every young player in MLS will follow Alphonso Davies to Bayern Munich or Tyler Adams to RB Leipzig, but the fact the current crop of young talent in MLS is getting offers from around Europe is a testament to the league’s growth.
Binks and Hwang are just the latest in a growing number of MLS players that are plying their trade in Europe. And should they be successful at their respective teams, it will only further grow MLS’ stature. If Binks and Hwang can prove they are capable of playing in Europe, other clubs will turn to MLS to find young talent at a bargain price.
As Don Garber stated famously two years ago, MLS must become a selling league. This was always seen as a weakness. Now, it is a strength, and Binks and Hwang are just the latest proof.