After painfully watching former CAM Dwayne De Rosario light up the MLS during the second half of the season, many NYRB fans expected the organization to search for a playmaker of their own this winter. However, the Red Bull’s offseason has been quiet to say the least, and the arrival of a game-changing playmaker doesn’t seem to be in even the earliest of stages.
We all know that the Red Bulls tend to favor summer transfers over winter moves, but the lack of action truly is disconcerting. To gain the trust of the loyal fanbase that has been jerked around and fooled the last 12 months, the Red Bulls organization must change their ways and either A) make a trade; B) find a young talent in Central America; or C) make a monstrous bid for an old European veteran this transfer window.
Finding the future playmaker through the superdraft is unlikely due to the Red Bulls' lack of a first-round pick, and the Ronaldinho rumor has less weight to it than a feather. That leaves the three options above as the only possible ways to gain that “maestro” in the middle.
Here is some analysis:
The only players worth trading for that could do Dax Mccarty’s central midfield position for a reasonable price are: Nick Labrocca (not happening; Chivas USA’s only weapon), Diego Chara (possibly, but not for a DP salary) and Brad Evans (most probable due to lack of playing time in Seattle, but worth a trade?). I don’t see any of these deals happening, meaning Central American talent is the way to go.
The best CAM suited for this job would have been Mexican international Christian Bermudez. With 178 league caps in Mexico at just 24, Bermudez was experienced and young enough to warrant a contract from the Red Bulls. However, Club America beat the Red Bulls to the Mexican playmaker, and he is now locked up for a few more years.
The Red Bulls must now find a player (maybe Jose Francisco Torres) who would be willing to come to the States, accept a non-DP salary, and significantly help the club. That is one difficult trifecta to find in a player.
C) Transfer Offer
You can immediately cross Ronaldinho, Lampard and Pirlo off the list. None of those players are coming to NY anytime soon due to a variety of reasons. The only players I can think of who have expressed interest in New York and are willing to be stolen away are Ze Roberto and Florent Malouda.
Malouda has threatened to leave Chelsea due to lack of playing time for over a month now, and could be persuaded by fellow Frenchman Henry to come to the club. Ze Roberto is playing for Qatari club Al Gharafa, but as we know, those contracts are rarely ever completed to the end. Both players would carry a hefty price tag, but would certainly change the dynamic of the team for the better.
Over-bidding for Ze Roberto or Malouda seems unlikely due to the Red Bulls' lack of cap room, which means Central America is the way to go. This path, however, includes lots of research and scouting that the club simply is not used to. That being said, this objective is far from being completed.