Gıovani Dos Santos has reportedly signed a seven-figure contract with LA Galaxy for four-and-a-half years. The expression you gotta be shitting me can be heard from both ends of the spectrum as some fans are happy at his arrival to the MLS, while others see it as a premature end to a talented player’s career.
Dos Santos became an immediate star in Mexico when he led the team to the Under-17 World Championship in 2005. A former Barcelona player, he was the future of Mexico – even heralded as the new Ronaldinho – but Giovani didn’t really come into his own in European soccer, and although he had a great 2013-2014 season, he only scored 1 league goal in his most recent season.
Now, Giovani is coming to a league where former stars like Andrea Pirlo, David Villa, Kaka, Frank Lampard and Steve Gerrard seem to be trying to cash in before ending their careers.
Or is he?
Giovani’s arrival might actually be the continuation of a trend started by 28 year-old Italian Sebastian Giovinco. By offering very competitive salaries to top players, the MLS is now looking for young stars to join their more maduro talent.
In fact, this is something they’ve been doing for a while with American players (they brought Donovan, Bradley, Altidore, and Dempsey while they were still in their 20s). What better way to really get things going then by bringing an international Mexican star to the City of Angels?
And with a reported $10 million dollar per season offer for Chicharito Hernandez, Giovani’s signing might just be the last motivation Hernandez needed to sign the papers.
Giovinco and Dos Santos might actually be paving the road for future young stars to come to the MLS, just like Beckham, Blanco, and Henry did for today’s generation of apparent-retirees.
Giovani will surely still be called to the national team. If Giovinco and some of the older players can manage a few call-ups for their respective countries, we might just be on the verge of seeing a new MLS.