Rating the Atlanta United reports/rumors

Venezuela's Ronald Hernandez (left) and Colombia's Johan Mojica battle for the ball during a qualifying soccer match for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Friday, Oct. 9, 2020, in Barranquilla, Colombia. (Mauricio Dueñas/AP)
Venezuela's Ronald Hernandez (left) and Colombia's Johan Mojica battle for the ball during a qualifying soccer match for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Friday, Oct. 9, 2020, in Barranquilla, Colombia. (Mauricio Dueñas/AP)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

As has been the case since the franchise was founded in 2014, there have been rumors about Atlanta United’s interest in numerous players during this offseason.

Some seem probable.

Some seem odd.

But all are fun to think about.

Let’s rate the realism of a few that have emitted from the social media spectre:

AGUSTIN ALMENDRA

Position: Central midfielder.

Current club: Boca Juniors (33 appearances).

Age: 20.

Market value (according to transfermarkt): $12.1 million.

How he would fit: The club isn’t re-signing Jeff Larentowicz. Eric Remedi hasn’t been as good as he was during 2018. Mo Adams improved a great deal during the second half of last season. The club needs an upgrade at defensive midfielder, especially one in Gabriel Heinze’s system who can not only break-up counterattacks but can also start them with well-placed passes. Almendra could be that guy.

Likelihood of being acquired: I’m sure Almendra is a good player but I don’t think he’s worth DP-level money so it would depend upon at least two things: Boca agreeing to a vastly reduced valuation and the club not signing Moises Caicedo.

Verdict: Unlikely.

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MOISES CAICEDO

Position: Central midfielder.

Current club: Independiente del Valle (31 appearances).

Age: 19.

Market value: $5.5 million.

How he would fit: Again, the team needs to upgrade its central midfield. Caicedo would be a big upgrade. From videos, he appears fast, tough and skilled.

Likelihood of being acquired: The difference between his market value and Almendra’s can be chalked up to the leagues in which they play. Put Caicedo in Argentina’s first division and his market value skyrockets, in my opinion. Atlanta United’s ability to acquire him may depend upon his ambition and if Valle needs funds. Manchester United may be interested but it’s difficult to tell how serious the club’s interest may be. It may also depend upon negotiations for sell-on values should he continue to develop at Atlanta United and then be sold. Signing him would fit Atlanta United’s established plan of acquiring young, talented players, developing them and then selling them for profit and mutual benefit.

UPDATE: The good people on social media have pointed out that Caicedo is close to securing his EU work permit......

Verdict: Was likely. Now unlikely.

Ecuador's Moises Caicedo celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during a qualifying soccer match against Uruguay for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, at the Casa Blanca stadium in Quito, Ecuador. (Jose Jacome/AP)
Ecuador's Moises Caicedo celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during a qualifying soccer match against Uruguay for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, at the Casa Blanca stadium in Quito, Ecuador. (Jose Jacome/AP)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

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RONALD HERNANDEZ

Position: Right fullback or midfield.

Current club: Aberdeen (6 appearances).

Age: 23.

Market value: $358,000.

How he would fit: This one seems odd. The club already has right fullbacks/wingbacks in Brooks Lennon and Franco Escobar as well as talented prospects at Atlanta United 2. I think Hernandez would be more of a depth piece.

Likelihood of being acquired: The price is right. Would the player want to come to a club in which he may not play a lot? And why would the club use one of its precious International slots on a player that may not play a lot. It’s probable that it’s working on securing work visas for a few of its players, which would open slots. A loan between the two partner clubs seems more probable but the question about International slots still stands.

Verdict: Likely. Odd, but likely.

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JURGUENS MONTENEGRO

Position: Striker.

Current club: LD Alajuelense (38 appearances).

Age: 20.

Market value: $275,000.

How he would fit: Much like Hernandez, this wouldn’t make sense because the club would have to use an International slot for a back-up player. Atlanta United does need a back-up striker who is more similar to Josef Martinez but it also just signed Jackson Conway to a Homegrown deal.

Likelihood of being acquired: Unlikely.

Verdict: Not happening.

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