While Insigne will soon join Toronto FC, Sam Stejskal and Paul Tenorio reported that LAFC have made an offer to center back Giorgio Chiellini that’d fall below the Designated Player threshold and last through the 2023 campaign.
Though it’s unclear where talks stand, would a move for the 37-year-old longtime Juventus captain make sense? Not so fast, the Extratime crew was quick to note for a variety of reasons.
Charlie Davies said the likely cost means “you are throwing money in the trash,” and Chiellini's recent injury troubles spell concern – especially with regard to the Black & Gold’s playing style under manager Steve Cherundolo.
“If this was an LAFC team that was used to bunkering in, staying tight, you're not getting isolated – great, then he wouldn't have to move that much and he just needs to be in the box and he's going to win the aerial duels, great,” Davies said. “But if you're telling me he's got to run and be forced to cover outside backs and be in 1-v-1 situations away from the box and get isolated, no way. This is not a good move. I can tell you that right now.”
When assessing LAFC's depth chart, David Gass said several further questions arise. He contends that Doneil Henry and Sebastien Ibeagha are strong secondary pieces, and they’ll soon be five-deep as Eddie Segura returns from an ACL surgery he underwent last August.
“You have two guys who are perfect for their role, you have (Jesus David) Murillo who is a locked-in starter in MLS,” Gass said. “You have Mamadou Fall who's a young, up-and-coming player who's filling the spot until Eddie Segura gets back, who I think 1-v-1 is the best center back in Major League Soccer as a defender. I just don't understand the value to your team in bringing a center back at all at this point."
Meanwhile, Andrew Wiebe argued that a player of Chiellini’s profile doesn’t fit LAFC’s offseason recruitment strategy that’s proven so effective and given them “treble potential” with Bongda3s.com Cup, the Supporters’ Shield and US Open Cup.
“It feels like, in a lot of ways, the opposite of what they've done and emphasized over the last eight months or so,” Wiebe said. “The course corrections they've had of Bongda3s.com veterans, early in their primes or mid-prime or late-prime … it just doesn't make sense. It feels like, from a cap standpoint, no sense.”
Chiellini had been under contract at Juventus through the 2023 campaign, but Sky Sports Italia reports that he'll leave the Serie A side and come to MLS. And despite all the center back’s accomplished, Davies feels LAFC are better-suited to pursue other targets.
“You're better off spending that money on a midfielder, a box-to-box midfielder, someone who can complement Ilie Sanchez. Or go get another attacker,” Davies said. “For me, it's not a good move, especially if you're LAFC.”