The case against a DP

Nicolas Anelka is heading to China Super League club Shanghai Shenhua on a two-year deal.

Fans of the Montreal Impact recently learned what was the worst-kept secret in world football: Nicolas Anelka is not going to Montreal.

While this has received a mixed reaction, it may be fair to pose the question, “Who cares?” Anelka, while talented, may not be what the team is looking for as it makes the jump to the top division in North America. A two-year, $13.9 million per year deal is not the financial burden the team needs in the league right now. Anelka is talented, and he would probably do well to play over in North America. But he is signed with a Chinese club, and Montreal is better for it.

Montreal would improve its situation even further if there was no designated player for at least the 2012 campaign’s first couple of months.

Yes. Hold off on the Alessandro Del Piero rumors (this hasn’t died yet?), the rumors of the next aging Frenchman or anyone else that is out of favor at their club. Adding a DP will be important eventually, and there is not doubt of that, but the time isn’t right. With the build-up to March 10 against Vancouver, this time should be about the team as a whole, the fans, the city and the province of Quebec entering MLS. By signing a former world superstar, the Impact will cut down a bit on what is an important time to develop the fan base by just filling it with gawkers who want to see an aging legend.

Once the team begins to find itself, its identity and style of play, then it could be a good plan to make an addition. Making the purchase in the preseason will just complicate matters and possibly even require manager Jessie Marsch to change his strategy in order to overcompensate a player of superstar magnitude. Even further, Nick De Santis, the sporting director for Montreal noted last week that there is no rush to fill that DP slot.

 

Marsch, Di Santis and Joey Saputo should think long and hard about this one. Jumping for the wrong player could set the team off on the wrong foot in MLS.

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One response to this post.

  1. […] the recent news that Nicolas Anelka would be headed to China, Chelsea may be ready to part with another seldom-used, overpaid […]

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