When the ambitious owners of New York City FC implied that some big name signings would be coming to New York in the near future, perhaps David Villa was even a little bigger than some had expected. Although, considering the meteoric rise that Manchester City have enjoyed in the Premier League under the very same owners, it perhaps should not be quite so much of a surprise.
NYCFC will not compete in Major League Soccer until 2015, but the preparation to be ready for when that time comes starts long before then. One piece that seems like it could now be falling into place is former Barcelona star, and current La Liga winner with Atletico Madrid, Villa. Reports from Spain suggest that Villa has agreed to join NYCFC, although it is unclear exactly what Villa would be doing between now and 2015 and whether he is a free agent this summer from Atletico or whether a fee has to be agreed for his release.
Either way, the arrival of Villa in MLS would not only be a big signing for NYCFC, it would be a major coup for MLS as a whole. To put it into context, Villa is 32 years old, he is in the provisional Spain squad for this summer’s World Cup and he played for the Spanish champions last season. He’s not in his prime exactly, but he is not very far removed from it either.
It would be an exciting signing for, not only the NYCFC fans, but for head coach Jason Kreis also. Kreis is in the process of trying to build a team for next season. He has the opportunity to take some talented Manchester City youth team players with him to New York on loan, but the team needs experience too. Not only would Villa bring his undoubted quality and lethal goalscoring, but he is also hugely experienced and a proven winner at the highest level.
Mix some youth and quality experience with some players who are already well versed in MLS and then the team starts to really take shape. Villa also makes sense from a commercial standpoint as well as a sporting one. Villa obviously still has a big global reputation in the sport, and it is going to grab people’s attention and bring that attention to NYCFC when everybody sees Villa signing for this exciting new team in New York.
The Spanish World Cup winner (amongst many other accolades) would clearly bring a lot to the table, and it would surely make NYCFC more enticing to other potential signings too. Who wouldn’t want to play with David Villa? It would be a big deal and a huge signal of intent for NYCFC. The team still needs a lot more players, of course, but it would be a fantastic first signing in every sense. Don’t be surprised if the Villa deal does indeed go ahead and if there is still yet another headline signing joining Villa in New York.