Almada remains in Atlanta, whether he likes it or not.
With almost two full seasons under his belt, Thiago Almada has not been short of plaudits. Not that they have been new to the 22-year-old Argentine. From Football Manager Wonderkid to Mercedes Benz Stadium, Almada has been continuously hailed as one of the brightest talents in the world.
He’s lived up to the hype in Atlanta. Across nearly two seasons, Almada has made 58 appearances scoring 17 goals and adding 20 assists. His spell in Atlanta has showcased a swashbuckling #10 who thrives with the ball at his feet. Marvelous technical ability allows Almada to maneuver through defenses with the ball on a string constantly and makes him lethal from set pieces.
The performances have impressed enough to make Almada a full Argentine international, winning the 2022 World Cup alongside Inter Miami star Lionel Messi.
Despite his magnificent displays and accolades, European teams have yet to register interest in Almada seriously.
Almada arrived in the Peach State for a league-record $16M, a fee he has justified. Almada has seen his abilities and profile develop positively enough for Atlanta to value Almada at $30M. That would be an MLS record fee, surpassing Atlanta’s sale of Miguel Almiron to Newcastle United for $27M.
La Liga club Almeria launched a laughable $11M bid, including add-ons and a sell-on fee. Atlanta swiftly rejected the offer. That travesty was followed up with interest from Ajax and Newcastle United, which has resulted in nothing. Instead, Ajax opted to sign a star from the other Georgia, forward Georges Mikautadze from Metz for $17M.
Defending Serie A champions Napoli were rumored to hold interest in Almada but like Ajax, opted for different targets.
The European Transfer window for most leagues closed on September 1st, and MLS’s most valuable commodity is seemingly an afterthought. It was only four years ago, Atlanta sanctioned the MLS record transfer outgoing, and it remains to be seen if European clubs are willing to exceed that fee.
Could Atlanta get the $30M for Almada? Maybe, but right now it’s not looking great.