David Villa Right to Move on from Atletico Madrid, but New York Move Timing Poor

Karl Matchett@@karlmatchettFeatured ColumnistJune 2, 2014

Atletico's  David Villa celebrates Diego Godin's goal during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Getafe and Atletico Madrid at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez  stadium in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, April 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

One member of Spain's World Cup squad has already confirmed a summer transfer, but it's David Villa, not Cesc Fabregas, who has arranged a move away from La Liga.

The forward will sign for Major League Soccer side New York City, becoming their first-ever registered player and beginning his tenure with them from the 2015 season, as per the club's website.

It's a move with many positives for the player, who was lacking in keeping pace with his previous standards during the past season, though it perhaps begs questions of what he'll do for the next seven months or so after the World Cup ends.

Villa still managed to score 13 goals in 36 games for Atleti this season, contributing to their title-winning season in La Liga, but it was clear for some time that he is no longer the force of old. Hardly "finished" as a player, though, he travels to Brazil this summer as a member of the Spain World Cup squad looking to defend their title.

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 09:  Koke of Club Atletico de Madrid celebrates scoring the opening goal with David Villa of Club Atletico de Madrid  during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final second leg match between Club Atletico de Madrid and FC Barcelona at
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

The all-time record scorer for his nation, Villa could easily have slipped down the league a little, perhaps back to Valencia or to the likes of Villarreal (depending on wages, of course—but more on that shortly) if he wanted to continue competing at a high level.

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He would have had no shortage of offers and can still make an impact for Spain at the finals in Brazil, even if he is unlikely to play even close to every minute this time around.

A move abroad, though, lets him leave the domestic game at the very top, a title-winner with a second club and—the entire nation will hope—a double World Cup winner, or at least part of the squad who will try to go close to retaining their trophy.

So excited to be the first player in the history of @NYCFC! I'm ready for this new challenge! #VillatoNYCFC pic.twitter.com/q1ygpyKYLv

— David Villa (@Guaje7Villa) June 2, 2014

For the club, this is, of course, part sporting and part big marketing ploy: Villa represents a world-renowned icon of the game, a stellar signing for most clubs and their first one ever to boot. They've started big and will attract more attention—from onlookers and players, no doubt—as a result.

Not only that, but clearly targeting the Spanish-speaking contingent of the anticipated support base, it makes enormous sense for them to bring in a player with that same ability. Not for nothing, they were able to tweet out dual-language welcome messages.

David Villa Firma Por El New York City Football Club: http://t.co/GGhJmrY1Fs

New York City FC (@NYCFCEspanol) June 2, 2014

David Villa (@Guaje7Villa) signs for New York City FC. Press release: http://t.co/v0ZtpB7vCq #VillatoNYCFC pic.twitter.com/0qbVHpU1TC

— New York City FC (@NYCFC) June 2, 2014

But what of Villa for the first half of 2014-15?

Once the summer tournament is done, he'll move on from Atletico. Will a loan move to a European country ensue, up until the end of January perhaps?

New York City don't debut until the 2015 season, so he'll otherwise be nothing more than an onlooker if he moves over to the States beforehand.

New York City FC preliminary tactics board. #Villa pic.twitter.com/7xqnwnRQB2

— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) June 2, 2014

Either way, he'll be another face to boost the profile of MLS, a player to get New York City off on the right foot and doubtless a contender for 2015 top scorer in the division. You'll just have to wait a long time to see him there.

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