Following on from a few big signings in 2022, the New England Revolution have another new face in the building. Sebastian Lletget, Jozy Altidore and Omar Gonzalez arrived in the off-season and have produced mixed results. Both Dylan Borrero and Djordje Petrovic have hit the ground running and there is hope that Giacomo Vrioni will follow suit.
Giacomo Vrioni Makes the Move to MLS
A Bit About the Revolutions’ New Arrival
Giacomo Vrioni arrives in MLS from European giants Juventus. The striker made just two senior appearances for the Bianconeri during his time there and so has clearly gone in search of more regular football. “We had to go through negotiations with Juventus for a while to see if it was something we could make happen and we were fortunate, over the last couple of weeks, we could come to terms with both the club and player, and he’s here” is Bruce Arena’s thoughts on the negotiation process.
Given the loss of Adam Buksa, there is a DP spot to be filled and Giacomo Vrioni has now done that. “There were a number of players we were looking at, mainly attacking players for our third designated player position”, to align with the other two, Carles Gil and Gustavo Bou.
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) July 5, 2022
Here is a brief breakdown of the new arrival from his new manager: “Giacomo is a left-footed player primarily, has good size, about 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, and like all players, he will take a little time to make an adjustment to our league and our club and our country and city, but we think over time he’s going to fit in here quite well.”
Making a signing like this, of an elite level player, requires scouting and a lot of boxes to be ticked. When asked how long Vrioni has been on the Revolution’s radar, Arena answered as follows. “I think about a couple of months, it hasn’t been long term… If I can recall, that’s when [the first week of May] we brought Djordje Petrović here and once that transfer window ended, we began looking for an attacking player for this next window.”
The Wider Impact of the Giacomo Vrioni Signing
Jozy Altidore will be one player looking over his shoulder following the arrival of Giacomo Vrioni. The Austrian will likely partner Bou up front in the strongest XI as the former Toronto man is still yet to make a notable impact in Boston. Arena certainly isn’t prepared to write off the legendary forward though: “We’re in the business of preparing for the next game and going with the players that we think give us the best opportunity to be successful and Jozy [Altidore] fits into that category.”
One of the biggest questions surrounding the signing of Giacomo Vrioni is where he fits into Arena’s plans. Here are the words of the New England head coach: “He is going to play the striker position, the number nine position which was obviously occupied previously by Adam Buksa, and I think he’s a good option in that position.” It seemed safe to assume that he was brought in to fill that void and that has now been confirmed.
A pregame moment for 🆎👏
Good luck, Adam Buksa 💙❤️ pic.twitter.com/77go1e4jLJ
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) June 15, 2022
Vrioni’s last campaign was his most fruitful in front of goal, wearing the shirt of WSG Tirol. In the Austrian Bundesliga he netted 19 in 28, the joint-most in the division. This move from Europe to the States could now see him excel and then earn a bigger move off the back of it. The ability to sell players is evident in recent years in New England and Arena highlighted this: “In the case of Giacomo and some of our previous designated players, we can sell them on the fact that we now have a history as a club where we develop players and move players on to Europe if that is their ambitions.”
“I think that was the case with Adam Buksa when we brought him in, certainly will be the case with Giacomo. Matt Turner has now recently left, as has Tajon Buchanan” going on to say that the Revs are one of a few teams in MLS that “can develop players and move them on to what they believe are better opportunities for them in Europe, so that’s certainly a selling point.”
Giacomo Vrioni doesn’t have to start firing instantly given the current form of Bou and those around him. That being said, the Albanian international who has six caps to his name arrives on a DP deal. Will he deliver in the way Buksa has in New England?
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