The LA Galaxy look ready to part ways with midfielder Nigel de Jong.
Head coach Bruce Arena confirmed that the Dutch midfielder is in Turkey to finalize a deal with Galatasaray, nearly seven months after he joined the Galaxy from AC Milan.
“Nigel is pursuing an opportunity with our blessing. It either happens or it doesn’t,” Arena said. “We have the greatest respect for Nigel. He’s been a terrific addition to our team. He’s a great professional and a great teammate. When healthy and given a chance to play in this league, he’s been good. His game against Vancouver was exceptional.”
According to Goal.com, the Galaxy were attempting to unload de Jong in order to avoid having him trigger a clause in his contract that would make him a Designated Player for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
De Jong has started in 18 games for the Galaxy, who currently sit in fourth place in the Western Conference with 40 points.
“Nigel’s a very good player,” Arenas said. “We don’t have an educated public to understand what he does, but he’s been an important member of our team. We do have some depth. If we lose him, then we use our depth. We don’t have any Nigel de Jong’s here, but we have players that can play in that position,” Arena said. “You lose his ball-winning. He’s a pretty good passer. He’s very good at organizing his teammates around him. Not that others can’t do that job, but Nigel is a real pro at it.”
What do you think of this development? See the Galaxy winning MLS Cup without de Jong? Think the Galaxy are smart to cut ties with him now?
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