Altidore: “England Early in the Morning”
Jozy Altidore seems to be handling this Twitter thing a little better than Darren Bent.
While Bent tossed his toys out of the pram in 140 characters or less, the teenage American striker calmly tweeted to his followers:
England early in the morning so im going to get some sleep ill tweet all day tomorrow on my bb and let you guys know whats going on!
He then thanked his followers for their support. I would check to see if Bent has ever done this, but his tweets seem to have disappeared since his online tantrum.
In June of last year, Altidore moved to La Liga club Villarreal from the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer for €7.4 million, which was at the time about $10 million, a record-high transfer fee for an American player. Speculation today had both Hull City and Fulham preparing to offer the Yellow Submarine a £6.5million ($11 million) transfer fee for Altidore. Everton and Olympiacos have also shown interest in the young American, though the Olympiacos rumors seem to have died down.
While he had little impact in his first season in Spain, Altidore has quickly become a mainstay for the USA National Team, scoring 7 goals in 16 matches, including a hat trick against Trinidad & Tobago on April 1 and an important goal against Spain that fueled the USA’s 2-0 upset win in the FIFA Confederations Cup semifinals.
So which Premier League club would be the best fit for Altidore?
The one thing Altidore needs most at this point is playing time at the club level. He’s more likely to get that at Hull or Fulham than at Everton, even though David Moyes seems perpetually short on healthy strikers. However, Roy Hodgson would likely make Altidore fight for a starting job at Craven Cottage, much like he did with American midfielder Clint Dempsey, who has earned his position. The combination of Altidore and Dempsey in attack would certainly attract the attention of USA National Team supporters, something Fulham seems keen to do.
Fulham and Everton can also offer Europa League football, which makes them both slightly more attractive propositions than Hull, even though a forward with Altidore’s strength and pace would have very little trouble cracking the Tigers’ starting lineup.
What might sway Altidore to Hull is the experience of Michael Bradley, his U.S. teammate, at Bundesliga side Borussia Moenchengladbach. After scoring twice in the USA’s 2-0 win over Mexico in World Cup Qualifying last February, Bradley told reporters the year-long relegation battle at Moenchengladbach helped make him a better player. Phil Brown’s side will definitely be relegation strugglers this season, so perhaps Altidore sees Hull as an opportunity to improve his own play.
The most interesting thing about this potential transfer, though, is that the man who breaks the news might be the man who’s the central figure in the story. I suspect this won’t be the last time we see that.