America makes splashy move for Dutch youngster
With a whirlwind of activity just before the transfer window closed, the defending champs demonstrated that they aren’t resting on their laurels.
Heading into the Clausura 2024, America coach André Jardine declared his preference for running it back with the same roster that dominated the Apertura 2023 and cruised to a 14th league title, a Liga MX record.
In early January, left back/winger Salvador Reyes and winger Leo Suárez each had one foot out the door those trades collapsed over wage demands.
Midway through January, Jardine’s preferences looked to have been well and truly ignored as midfield metronome Álvaro Fidalgo, stalwart defender Sebastián Cáceres and dynamic winger Brian Rodríguez were all linked with moves to Europe.
Last week, however, all three deals were scuttled and locker room stability was restored (the only departure was right back Miguel Layún, 35, who retired).
The only other roster adjustments were the addition of enigmatic left fullback Cristian Calderón (he has started two of the Aguilas’ four games) and youngsters Illian Hernández and Diego Esqueda.
Then, out of the blue, America was in the headlines as the transfer window slammed shut.
Coming to Coapa from Dutch champions Feyenoord is 25-year-old right winger Javairo Dilrosun while cleaning out his locker to head across town to UNAM was the aforementioned Suárez.
Although Dilrosun’s statistics are arguably underwhelming – 18 career goals and 25 assists in 147 matches with Bundesliga side Hertha BSC, Ligue 1 club Girondins Bordeaux and Feyenoord (where the Amsterdam native has been a teammate of El Tri star Santiago Giménez) – America has played the transaction up as a bombshell move.
Dilrosun’s numbers are even less impressive this season: 1 goal and 1 assist in 12 appearances. However, there is expectation that the Dutchman’s speed and athleticism will go a long way in helping him thrive in Liga MX.
With the heavy schedule awaiting America – the Aguilas begin their Concacaf Champions League adventure next week – the newcomer will provide much-needed quality depth, and should allow starting right-winger Alejandro Zendejas to stay fresh.
Such insurance was made necessary by the departure of Leo Suárez who contributed 2 goals and 3 assists in 13 games last season. The diminutive man with the loud left foot got most of his playing time because Zendejas was hit with a series of niggling injuries last season.
Suárez joined America from Villarreal in 2020, supplying 10 goals and 9 assists across six seasons. The 27-year-old Argentine also spent a year out on loan to Santos Laguna where he tallied 8 goals and 5 assists in 31 games.
Suárez now joins a UNAM club that is need of playmakers now that Gustavo del Prete has moved to Mazatlán FC and Rogelio Funes Mori is out of action with two broken ribs.
America finished their wheeling-and-dealing by registering winger Mauro Lainez who had been out on loan the past three seasons.