121112_altidorejozy_isi_usmntbb06141113 Bill Barrett/isiphotos.com
Silly Season

6 European-Based Players Who Could Move Soon

John Godfrey took a look at some players he thinks might move from Major League Soccer. Josh Deaver returns the favor, targeting men in Europe who could find new clubs.
BY Josh Deaver Posted
December 11, 2012
8:53 AM
Michael Bradley to Roma, Clint Dempsey to Spurs, Geoff Cameron to Stoke, Terrence Boyd to Rapid Vienna—2012 was a banner year for Americans making their mark in Europe. After years of struggle attempting to gain credibility and to prove that American players can be just as fundamentally and tactically skilled as their European counterparts, the positive signs are there.

As the January transfer window approaches, there are several American players that are in line for club upgrades. Let’s embrace our inner Sky Sports and examine some possibilities.

1. Jozy Altidore
After 24 goals in 49 total appearances for the Eredivisie's AZ Alkmaar, there are rumblings that the young American forward could be in line for a move. In the last month several articles cite unnamed sources saying that top Serie A side Fiorentina, always in a search for reliable strikers, could make a bid for Altidore’s service. If true, it would certainly be an upgrade from AZ. Jurgen Klinsmann has long touted the promise of Altidore and the opportunity he has to become a world-class striker. With a steady diet of European competition that Fiorentina provides, the 22-year old would have ample opportunity to make another quantum leap in his still blossoming career.

2. Michael Parkhurst
Following Saturday’s disheartening 4-1 loss to FC Copenhagen, defender Michael Parkhurst announced that he had played his last game for Nordsjaelland. After playing a key role in the club’s 2012 fairytale season, which saw them surprisingly capture the Danish SuperLiga title, as well as his admirable service during the Champions League group stage, Parkhurst has rightfully garnered increased attention. Klinsmann will be active in the process of trying to find the former MLS standout a home at a larger European club. Rumors has it that Danish side AGF Aarhus, and specifically their manager, greatly value Parkhurst’s skill set and could make a move to bolster their flimsy backline.

3. Joshua Gatt
When pressed about his whereabouts for next season, Gatt replied, “well…you never know what the future holds.” If the winger's measured and diplomatic response tells us anything it’s that there is opportunity, but whether he decides to move is another question entirely. One thing that might be keeping the speedster with Molde is his affection for boss Ole Gunnar Solksjaer, who took a chance on Gatt, pulling him up from the Austrian second division in one of his first roster moves upon arrival. Gatt could thrive in Holland, for example, but might benefit more under the tutelage of the former Manchester United legend.

4. Alejandro Bedoya
In the wake of financial turmoil at Rangers, Bedoya was among the first to abandon ship by obtaining a loan to Swedish power Helsingborg in August. After half a season, which included a foray in the Europa League, Bedoya has rejuvenated his career and set himself up for a January move. Current champs Elfsborg are reportedly interested in acquiring his services.

5. Aron Johannsson
Johannsson is clearly straddling the fence regarding his options to play for either Iceland or the United States, but the Alabama-born striker has nonetheless displayed a scintillating form that will surely have larger clubs calling. Since joining AGF Aarhus, Johannsson has netted an incredible 20 goals in the 2012 calendar year, including his now famous four-minute hat trick. Names such as Arsenal and Heerenvereen have been mentioned, and Johannsson could be almost anywhere to begin the new year.

6. Conor O’Brien
A relative unknown just a year ago, O’Brien burst on to the scene in 2012 with Sonderjyske in the Danish top flight, netting four goals to go along with three assists while earning praise from the media and high-profile teammates alike. O’Brien scored in his final match on Saturday, and the young midfielder will change clubs during the upcoming transfer window. A proper move could put the the 24-year old New Yorker firmly in consideration for National Team duty. Examining his own words and that of his agent, options at this point seem divided between Holland, Belgium, or possibly a larger Danish club.

Josh Deaver is a former academic turned soccer obsessive. Follow him @USFootballGuy for daily updates and musings.

Post a comment