The Galaxy's signing of Dutch defensive midfielder, Nigel de Jong, was one of the biggest feathers in Bruce Arena's cap this off-season, and, with the player promised a designated player spot the following season, was, by all accounts, one made with the future in mind.
It was not to be, however, as the rumors of a potential transfer to Turkish club, Galatasaray, were confirmed this morning.
De Jong moves on a free transfer which means the Galaxy will not be receiving a fee. The reported cause of the move was de Jong's desire to get back into the Dutch national team picture, and, sadly, top European countries remain hesitant to call in MLS players. Just ask Sebastian Giovinco.
The Galaxy are not expected to make any immediate moves to fill the position, with perennial depth player, Baggio Husidic, the most likely candidate to fill in, however, in the long term, this opens up some some options for the Galaxy going into next season.
Part of what lured de Jong to LA on a non DP contract was the promise of future wages. In fact, de Jong needed only to play 5 more games for a clause in his contract to trigger a guaranteed 2 year designate player contract. In short, with Gerrard likely to retire at the end of the year, de Jong would take over that designated player spot.
This would have put LA in a tough position in regard to Robbie Keane's contract which expires at the end of the year. The 36 year old forward has been fairly vocal that he hopes the Galaxy offer him a new contract, however, if the Galaxy were to commit to that, with de Jong promised Gerrard's spot, they would have no DP slots left to go out in the off-season and make the type of big signing the Galaxy have become famous for since the days of Beckham.
With de Jong now out of the picture, the Galaxy can theoretically re-sign Robbie Keane, who's age obviosly brings with it inherent risk, while still having a DP slot left should they be able to land one of the myriad of big names they are likely pursuing.