LA Galaxy’s new signing of Argentinian Cristian Pavon attacking winger is a great move by its own. However, there’s more to this signing. The crafty deal-making, timing and the vision behind bringing a player like Pavón – are all part of the new LA Galaxy carefully-crafted, long-term strategy.
This extends far beyond winning the next game on the MLS schedule, or even the next season. Galaxy’s new management is busy building a soccer club with a long-term winning legacy.
Since David Beckham joined the club (2007-2012) and brought American soccer to the attention of soccer fans worldwide, LA Galaxy has been one of the biggest clubs. Besides being household names, not only in the MLS table but in American soccer across the world.
Still, it seems that in recent years, LA Galaxy has been true to its name: a constellation of stars with different talents, roles, and gameplay. Nonetheless, things didn’t seem to jell together into a tight, cohesive club that has a clear path and vision for the future.
The team was pulled in all sorts of directions with different ideas and management styles. The academy never took off and young talent left LA as soon as another opportunity came about. International soccer stars at the highest of their career came and went.
Te Kloese bringing soccer closer
All this seemed to have changed this year, with the December signing of Denis te Kloese as Galaxy’s General Manager. The Dutchman has a long-standing career in Mexican soccer, where he started in 2003.
He then advanced through the ranks to his most recent position as Director of National Teams for the Mexican Football Federation.
Throughout his career, Kloese served in many strategic roles in scouting, player and academy development, and more. This knowledge and forward-thinking is already evident in LA Galaxy’s strategy this year. It seems to be focused on the future with laser precision.
It started with Denis te Kloese bringing on board as Team Manager Guillermo Barros Schelotto, manager of Argentinian soccer powerhouse Bocca Juniors. Kloese was betting on Schelotto bringing talented players from his home country and former club to LA. And so far, Kloese’s gambles are proven to be winners.
Bringing attacking midfielder and playmaker Favio Alvarez on loan from Argentinian Atletico Tuchman, Mexican midfielder Joe Corona for free, buying Costa Rican International Giancarlo Gonzalez from Bologna, and now the jackpot: signing on loan Boca Juniors winger and Argentina International Christian Pavón.
After many months of hard work behind the scenes, Team Kloese+Schelotto managed to land in LA Galaxy a world-class player that reportedly already had interest from the likes of Arsenal and PSG for a price tag of over $48 million (£40m).
Who is Cristian Pavon?
Pavón was brought to LA as a free transfer, using Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) which are funds allocated by the league to bring and retain high-impact players.
That also means that the Designated Player Spots for high-cost players (3 for each team) still remain open to be used by Galaxy for another world-class talent, such as Zlatan Ibrahimović, etc.
First Interview in LA Galaxy with Pavón:
LA Galaxy can extend the loan in 2020, and buy Pavón’s rights at the end of the season. In which case, it is said that Boca will ask for $600,000 and Pavón’s pay will rise to above seven figures.
Pavón joined Boca Juniors in 2015 when he was 19 years old. He became a feature in the club through the 2016-17 season, scoring nine goals and posting nine assists during his thirty appearances for the club. He also added four goals and two assists in Copa Libertadores.
In the 2018 World Cup in Russia, which is one that Argentina would rather forget, Pavón was called to duty. He appeared in all of his National team’s games and was considered one of the few brightest spots for struggling La Albiceleste in that tournament.
Europe or MLS: Pavon made his choice
This Summer, the attacking winger decided finally to give the jump to outside of Argentina. Initially, the winger was connected with the two main clubs of Liga NOS table, FC Porto and Benfica, and later with Ligue 1 side Bordeaux.
In the end though, maybe due to the offer of better wages, he decided to move to MLS instead.
A right-footed winger, Pavón can play on both sides and is known for his strength and speed. Meanwhile, he can cut in through the right or left and usually confusing defenders on the other side.
His shooting is also very strong, and he’s known for very fast and accurate decision-making on the pitch whilst he is possessing the ball. Thus, he does not tend to possess the ball for too long and releases it fast and accurately to continue his team’s play.
Pavón still faces challenges and needs to develop more, notably in speed, creativity for unexpected tricks, and more physical presence on the field.
These will all be put to the test very soon when he’s expected to supply Galaxy star attacker Zlatan Ibrahimović with consistent support inside the box, as well as dominating possession and creating plays by cutting in from wide positions.