LA Galaxy Transfers: 10 Potential Replacements for David Beckham
With the 2011 Asia Pacific Tour finally in the rear view mirror of Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy, the million-dollar question is officially asked: who is going to replace midfielder David Beckham as the team's third designated player?
A number of names have been thrown around. and Bleacher Report, courtesy of yours truly, offer 10 of these names for your consideration.
In-house possibility? Perhaps it could be done.
Midfielder Juninho is currently being loaned by Sao Paulo FC to the Galaxy. However, his value in terms of creating plays and breaking up the opposition's attacks mean that the young Brazilian will be needed for the long haul.
The priority for Los Angeles, according to ESPN's Scott French, is to have Juninho signed to a long-term contract. Whether or not he will become the team's third DP remains to be seen.
But there is no question that the Galaxy would not have achieved what they have achieved without Juninho's services.
2. Marcelo Sarvas
Just this past week, the Los Angeles Galaxy signed former Liga Deportiva Alajuelense midfielder Marcelo Sarvas Fazzio to a two-year deal, according to ESPN.
It will be unlikely that Marcelo will be a designated player, but his value to La Liga in terms of production and creating chances is just what Bruce Arena wants. And even if Marcelo is not signed as a designated player, he will clearly be plying his trade in the MLS.
And what better way to show what you're all about in Major League Soccer than by playing on the league's best team?
3. Didier Drogba
This is a player that has been on the Galaxy's radar for quite some time. Chelsea's Didier Drogba is considering making a move to Los Angeles, according to numerous sources, such as Goal.com and Los Angeles Times.
A 33-year-old Ivorian with a proven track record of success with the Blues, Drogba is considering the club who can offer the highest amount of cash. He has rejected a deal from AC Milan, and Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala has been linked with him.
If signed by the Galaxy, Bruce Arena will have two weapons up front and is expected to place Drogba up top with Robbie Keane at the forward position.
This makes incumbent team captain Landon Donovan the primary provider in the middle.
4. Frank Lampard
Speaking of Chelsea, another Blues player that could be making a switch across the pond is Frank Lampard, who apparently is not part of Andre Villas-Boas's long-term plans, according to the Daily Mail.
As a natural center-midfielder, Lampard will be right at home in Arena's 4-4-2 formation and become the main provider in the system, with Donovan being a secondary playmaker.
If Lampard is signed, expect the connections between him and Robbie Keane to be a focal point of LA's attack.
And the best part? Reduced bench time.
5. Carlos Hernandez
Though it is safe to say that he has produced for his current club, as with the case of Juninho or Marcelo Sarvas, the possibility of Hernandez being signed as a designated player is not optimistic.
Former Real Madrid standout Guti is a longshot to be in the plans of the Los Angeles Galaxy.
While he has championship experience playing for Los Blancos and is a midfielder that can play centrally, his age could be a problem if Arena wants a long-term deal.
Nonetheless, according to ESPN, Guti has expressed interest in trying out MLS. Mista revisited?
7. Miguel Sabah
Striker Miguel Sabah has elected to end his contract with Monarcas Morelia in the Mexican First Division, according to Provincia.
A proven goalscorer, he is a longshot to be the third designated player in Bruce Arena's 4-4-2 system.
However, the man can score, and his ability to finish will be valuable to LA's chances at hardware this season should Sabah consider Major League Soccer and be signed.
8. Alessandro Del Piero
In terms of fitting into the Galaxy's long-term plans, Del Piero's age may be the biggest hurdle, though expansion side Montreal Impact are considering bringing Del Piero in as well.
9. Clarence Seedorf
Clarence Seedorf's time at AC Milan could be coming to an end. According to Football.fr, Seedorf is considering making a move to MLS come next June.
As a midfielder, Seedorf would see plenty of time in the middle and make for a competent DP.
However, Beckham could be leaving in January, and six months is quite a long time to wait for this Dutchman to come to Southern California's shores.
10. Kepa Blanco
Of all the longshots mentioned as a replacement for David Beckham, no one stands out more than striker Kepa Blanco from the Spanish football club Recreativo Huelva.
Sparingly used by the clubs he played for (with the exception of Sevilla), Blanco will likely see plenty of playing time if he elects to play in MLS.
As a striker, Blanco would be teamed up with Keane up top should he go the LA route. The question that has to be asked is, will Kepa give MLS a shot?