FC Cincinnati: Papu Gomez will fill the attacking midfielder spot

FC Cincinnati (Photo by Jason Whitman/Getty Images).
FC Cincinnati (Photo by Jason Whitman/Getty Images). /
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Italian side Atalanta can transfer attacking midfielder Papu Gomez to FC Cincinnati

FC Cincinnati and UAE Pro League team Al-Nasr SC so far have offered Atalanta BC attacking midfielder Alejandro Papu Gomez about $10 million (U.S.) lower than what the team will transfer him for, per Italian reports.

FC Cincinnati needs the player the most of all the clubs seeking his transfer. All FC Cincinnati General Manager Gerard Nijkamp will confirm now is that the team seeks a high-profile Designated Player. And he adds that the project focuses on an attacking midfielder.

It makes no sense statistically that Gomez would want out of his roles with the Italian Serie A club. It also makes no sense the team would let him go. He’s the captain and the desired starter on left-wing as a second striker in the club’s favored 3-4-1-2 formation.

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Yet, it’s true.

Gomez and team manager Gian Piero Gasperini went ballistic with each other in the dressing room before the team’s last two Serie A games.

So the manager benched him for those two matches. Then Gomez erupted on social media about the impasse and promised to tell all once he’s transferred.  He had five goals and four assists in 15 games in all competitions until then.

The social media threats and press reports have been taken seriously. Other teams getting into the bidding war include Inter Milan and PSG.

Set aside the locker room soap opera. Then consider that the Gomez scouting report, when viewed In MLS context, means that FC Cincinnati would get in transfer their best player for years to come.

His only consistent weakness is in aerial duels. He’s strongest in key passes, set-pieces, and holding onto the ball. He also excels in passing, dribbling, and taking effective long shots. In a typical game this past season, a Champions League match against Ajax, Gomez characteristically dispossessed opponents four times and was credited with three dribbles. He uncharacteristically won the only aerial he attempted.

FC Cincinnati now have all Designated Player spots filled. Those are held by Jurgen Locadia, Yuya Kubo, and Allan Cruz. However, Kubo and Cruz can be bought down with General Allocation Money.

Just this month, Cincinnati got an additional $75,000 in General Allocation Money and the fourth pick of the 2020 MLS Re-Entry Draft (Stage 1) from Atlanta United FC. That was in exchange for the first pick of the 2020 MLS Re-Entry Draft (Stage 1).

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An attacking midfielder is a role Cincinnati must fill to increase the chance of the team’s first competitive year since entering MLS. Siem de Jong came to the team last winter specifically to serve as attacking midfielder/second striker and failed. So the team declined his contract option. Papu Gomez can fill that role. It’s what he does for a living. He doesn’t want to do it anymore in Europe. So FC Cincinnati, here we come.