Atlanta United Announces the Sale of Giorgos Giakoumakis

Atlanta United surprises by transferring its main striker for $10 million to Cruz Azul, restructuring the roster and promising reinforcements in the summer window
Atlanta United FC v FC Cincinnati
Atlanta United FC v FC Cincinnati / Jeff Dean/GettyImages

Atlanta United has transferred striker Giorgos Giakoumakis to Cruz Azul of Liga MX for an impressive $10 million. The departure of the Greek goalscorer is a shock and, at the same time, an opportunity for renewal for a team desperately seeking to rise again in the Eastern Conference.

Giakoumakis, at 29 years old with a recent record of 24 goals and 7 assists in 43 games, has been a key player since arriving in February 2023 from Celtic FC. Not only did he manage to fill the shoes of the legendary Josef Martínez, but he also made his mark by being elected to the All-Star, Best XI, and receiving the title of Newcomer of the Year. His contribution was vital for Atlanta, but as VP and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra aptly said, "this transfer illustrates the nature of operating in a global market."

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The club change not only fills Atlanta United's coffers but also frees up a Designated Player spot, opening a range of possibilities to strengthen the roster in the summer transfer window, which runs from July 18 to August 14.

Atlanta United currently sits in 13th place in the Eastern Conference and is searching for a new coach after Gonzalo Pineda's departure in June. With veterans like Jamal Thiaré and Daniel Ríos still in the attack, the pressure is on for the club to make smart and effective signings to fill the void left by Giakoumakis.

The Mexican club, which already houses former MLS players such as Carlos Salcedo and Uriel Antuna, hopes that Giakoumakis brings the same energy and skill to their ranks. With important games against Philadelphia Union and Charlotte FC in the group stage of the Leagues Cup, the presence of the Greek striker could be a significant differential.

The departure of Giakoumakis can be seen from different perspectives. On one hand, it is a significant loss for a team struggling to find stability and success. On the other hand, it is a chance to reshape the team, bringing in new, perhaps more competitive blood.

Meanwhile, Giakoumakis begins a new chapter at Cruz Azul. Will he be able to replicate his success in Mexico?