LA Galaxy and US Men's National Team forward and winger Gyasi Zardes may be on the move away from Los Angeles. Various reports, including one from Stars and Stripes FC, have expressed the possibility of Zardes signing with Belgian Pro League club KRC Genk.
Like Stars and Stripes FC, we're of the opinion that if Gyasi is going to make a move, it might as well be now. After a strong sophomore campaign which resulted in his first experience with the USMNT, followed by an increasingly important role with the National squad and something along the lines of a transitional season with the Galaxy, Gyasi has been the subject of some serious buzz.
The additions of Sebastian Lletget and Giovani dos Santos mean that the Galaxy aren't short of attacking options, and their presence has both created a positional conundrum for Zardes and relegated Jose Villarreal to a reserve role.
While it would be excellent for Zardes and the Galaxy if the young striker could develop his game in Los Angeles under the tutelage of such names as Steven Gerrard, Robbie Keane, and Giovani dos Santos, he is also of the age where promising younger players get the itch to prove themselves in Europe.
So, it should be no surprise that there are some concrete leads popping out of the woodwork regarding his transfer status, especially after a summer which saw him play a starring role in the USMNT's Gold Cup effort.
However, when Greg Seltzer confirmed the reports that Gyasi and Genk were, in fact, in talks, the pangs of reality still bit either way.
Come on, nobody really wants to see him go...
But maybe he should. With his career path on a skyward trajectory as a fixture on both the US National Team and the most dangerous team in Major League Soccer, now would be the time to use the confidence he's undoubtedly gained to pounce on a new opportunity to play on a solid team in a solid league in the upper-middle tiers of European football.
If it is Genk he ends up with, then he might find himself in an ideal situation for a developing striker. His game is far from complete, but his desire to succeed and willingness to be coached are two of his most underrated qualities. KRC Genk is a team that has a history of developing top quality players. Among them are Thibaut Courtois, Christian Benteke, Yannick Carrasco, Steven Defour, Kevin DeBruyne, and Divock Origi.
As a player whose proven himself to be a weapon in MLS, he's likely hit his development ceiling in this league. If he wants to have a chance at pushing his game to the next level, this will be a move he would be smart to make.
From the Galaxy's perspective, why not sell him? As mentioned before, they have a wealth of attacking options both currently in play and waiting in the wings. It would be a smart bit of business if LA sold him while his value is peaking and gave younger guys like Villarreal and Bradford Jamieson IV the chance to shine center stage.
If it comes to fruition either during this window or in January, a move to Belgium could be fortunate serendipity for the LA Galaxy and Gyasi Zardes.