This is a big one, folks. Goal.com is reporting that sources close to the situation have indicated that the LA Galaxy are about to re-sign Gyasi Zardes to a new and lucrative contract. This after Reading FC tabled their 3 million dollar offer on the player after the firing of their manager.
While there are all sorts of financial implications which the Goal.com article goes into, I think the implications for the Galaxy on the field in the years to come, are more profound. Quite simply, there is a reason that the LA Galaxy are having trouble selling a 24 year old forward with the speed and athletic ability of Gyasi Zardes, and one who scored 16 goals in 2014. It's the same reason offers on him thus far have been quite low.
According to the scouts who I have talked to, Gyasi Zardes simply isn't an impressive soccer player. As a forward, he lacks anticipation. As a winger, he lacks creativity. From a statistical side, the player is equally underwhelming and shows signs of statistical inflation as I have extensively written about, here, and here.
While there is a chance that the forward could develop these traits over time and become a truly spectacular player, given his age and how he compares to other forwards of promise in his age group, the indicators simply aren't there to warrant a major investment in hopes of such an outcome. That's why clubs around the world are staying clear of this prospect. The Galaxy, it seems, have another opinion on the matter.
If the Galaxy are indeed about to sink major money into Gyasi Zardes, they may be about to make the same mistake they made with Omar Gonzalez, all over again. When Omar was signed to a DP contract, there was a hope that if he were to continue to develop, the team would be able to sell him at a later date if needed. But things didn't exactly work out that way. Omar's form fell, and so did the market for him, leaving the Galaxy with an expensive player they couldn't unload. Of course, the Galaxy had no way of predicting Omar's decline. With Gyasi Zardes, the signs are everywhere, which is why the soccer market as a whole is so lukewarm on him.
Worse yet, the more minutes the Galaxy invest in Gyasi Zardes, the fewer minutes guys like Jose Villarreal and Raul Mendiola get. Both of these players scout really well, both in a traditional sense, and using data.
What do you think of this potential move? Happy to see Gyasi re-sign?