Thiago Almada, the Argentine midfielder who has been dazzling fans in MLS, is on the cusp of a significant career move.

The 2022 World Cup winner is the subject of a $20 million bid from Eagle Football Group, the ownership consortium of Crystal Palace, Lyon, and Botafogo.

This transfer could see Almada leaving Atlanta for the greener pastures of the European scene; with also the Premier League emerging as the likely destination, as per Cesar Luis Merlo.

Almada’s journey from the Argentine leagues to the Major Soccer League has been nothing short of spectacular. Joining Atlanta United in 2022, he quickly established himself as one of the brightest talents in the league.

His technical prowess, vision, and goal-scoring ability have set him apart. The 23-year-old was named to the MLS Best XI last season, and won the MLS Young Player of the Year award; he also finished third in the league MVP voting.

His contributions—five goals and one assist in 16 appearances—have made him a key player for the Five Stripes.

Thiago Almada is rumored to be on the move.
Thiago Almada is rumored to be on the move.

Thiago Almada is rumored to be on the move.

What can Almada bring to any Eagle Football Group’s side?

Eagle Football Group, led by John Textor, owns multiple clubs across different continents, including Crystal Palace in the Premier League, Lyon in Ligue 1, and Botafogo in Brazil.

Their interest in Almada signals a strategic move to bolster their squads with top-tier talent. If this does materialize, it is unclear whether he will play for Botafogo first, then Lyon, or Palace. The $20 million bid reflects Almada’s value and potential to make an immediate impact in European soccer.

The Eagles’ potential acquisition of the Argentine attacking midfielder comes at a crucial time.

The club will lose one of their key players, Michael Olise, to Bayern Munich, who triggered his $70 million release clause. Olise’s departure leaves a significant gap in Palace’s attacking options. Almada, with his creativity and scoring ability, could be the perfect replacement.

If Almada joins the English side, he will bring a new dimension to their midfield and attack. His ability to play both as a central midfielder and as an attacking winger provides tactical flexibility.

Almada’s knack for finding space, coupled with his precise passing and goal-scoring ability, could transform Palace’s offensive play. His experience on the international stage with Argentina, including winning the World Cup, adds to his credentials and potential to thrive in the Premier League.

What does this mean for Atlanta United?

The $20 million transfer fee is a significant investment, especially in a post-pandemic market where financial prudence is paramount. For Atlanta United, this deal represents a substantial financial boost that they can reinvest into the squad. For Eagle Football Group, acquiring the player is not just about immediate footballing benefits but also a strategic move to enhance the value and competitiveness of their clubs.

Almada has been linked with European clubs for the past two years, with Napoli and Ajax among those previously interested. His move to Eagle Football Group could finally see him realize his European ambitions. Representing Argentina at the 2024 Olympics in Paris further highlights his rising profile and potential for growth.

While Eagle Football Group is in advanced talks, it remains unclear which of their clubs Almada will join. Crystal Palace appears to be the front-runner, given their urgent need for an attacking midfielder. However, Lyon, with their rich history in nurturing young talents, and Botafogo, with their South American connection, are also potential destinations.

Photo credit: IMAGO / Agencia-MexSport.