New York City FC: 3 more signing options for 2021

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Shinji Kagawa

ZARAGOZA, SPAIN – AUGUST 16: Shinji Kagawa of Real Zaragoza looks on during the La Liga Smartbank Playoffs match between Real Zaragoza and Elche CF at La Romareda on August 16, 2020 in Zaragoza, Spain. (Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Here are 3 more players New York City FC could possibly sign for 2021

2021 is officially here, and New York City FC has a lot of work to do towards the new season.  Originally, not many changes were expected since the club retained most of their players.  However, recently NYCFC announced the trade of Ronald Matarrita to FC Cincinnati and the controversial trade of Alexander Ring to Austin FC.  Such moves imply the club is making major changes, and will hopefully improve the starting XI.  And of course, there are two open Designated Player spots that must be filled.

After a not-so-great 2020 season, and after a continuation of transparency issues between the club and fans, patience is thin amongst supporters.  So, NYCFC must make impact signings but also look toward the future.  No matter what, this offseason might be the most vital in the club’s short history.

Previously, we looked at three players the Pigeons could possibly chase for the 2021 season.  But like any team, there must be multiple options, for there is no guarantee of signing top targets.  Here are three more players NYCFC could attempt to sign.

Shinji Kagawa

New York City FC (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

3. Shinji Kagawa would bring immense talent to New York City FC

Shinji Kagawa spent the majority of his European playing career at Borussia Dortmund and even had a spell at Manchester United F.C.  The midfielder’s 2010s can only be described as a rise and fall, and then again, a rise and fall, as he traveled the years of his career.

Now, Kagawa is without a club and needs to find somewhere to play where he can shine again.  After Dortmund, he signed for Real Zaragoza, S.A.D. in Spain, but the club terminated his contract in October.  Hence, Major League Soccer would be the perfect place for the creative player, especially New York City FC.  There is no doubt his talent is still there; he just needs the right spot to regain his confidence.

Although, recent reports, including out of Spain, said Kagawa is considering a return to his hometown club, Cerezo Osaka.  If the Pigeons, or any team in MLS, wanted to sign him, then they would have to act fast.  The midfielder is looking to make his decision on where to go, and whether to stay in Europe, during the winter transfer window.

Therefore, Kagawa’s playing style and ability should encourage NYCFC to reach out quickly.  The Japanese international is a creative central midfielder and likes to play in the playmaking role.  Whereas Maxi Moralez is obviously the first choice for the position, his contract ends in 2021, and his future is uncertain.  Kagawa could be that player who takes up the reins afterward and replaces Moralez.

Notably, Kagawa is versatile, which NYCFC loves, and can play on the wings and left midfield as well.  Like Moralez, he can easily pick out key passes and is highly disciplined with his passing.  With the Pigeons’ style of play, this is vital for whoever would take over for the Argentine in the future.  Also, Kagawa likes to score goals himself and could be that additional option in the attack for NYCFC.

Of course, whether Moralez decides to go elsewhere or return home to Argentina is in question, as well as whether the club will attempt to keep him for another year or two.  In the case Moralez was to stay, it might not be the best option to sign Kagawa.  But the Japanese international’s talent, and what he did in the Bundesliga, is undeniable.  He would be a solid signing for any MLS club, but if New York City FC is looking toward the future, then they should sign him before anyone else.

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