Euro Preseason notebook

Details emerge over Miazga & Robinson moves, and much more

Matt Miazga is closing in on a move to Nantes but what does that move mean for the U.S. national team defender? Plus a look at Antonee Robinson's pending loan and the short term futures for Tim Weah and Chris Richards. ASN's Brian Sciaretta breaks it down.
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
August 01, 2018
11:00 PM
There is a lot of news right now circulating for Americans in the European preseason – including key players for the U.S. national team. Here is a detailed analysis.

Miazga closing in on Nantes

Earlier in the week it looked as if Chelsea and U.S. national team central defender Matt Miazga was heading to Caen on loan for the upcoming season. But while Caen was interested, it was not the sure bet that the French media made it out to be.

Instead, Miazga is looking like he is heading to Nantes for his third consecutive season on loan – with the first two coming at Vitesse in the Eredivisie. Sources close to the move told ASN the deal is nearly complete and it will include a very expensive option to buy for Nantes.

Nantes is a better club than Caen – which survived two tough relegation battles in Ligue 1 the past two years. Nantes, meanwhile, has finished comfortably in midtable in Ligue 1 during that time with 9th and 7th place finishes. It is expected that Miazga will have to fight for playing time at Nantes but playing for a better club (than Caen) will allow him to showcase his improved passing ability that he developed in Holland. 

The details of this loan are not yet known but a typical sticking point is incentives for the team taking the player on loan. The better the team, the less of a need for the player on loan. In particular, what incentive does a team have to play a player on loan if he is as good as or only slightly better than the club’s current players? Why develop another team’s player and instead give minutes to your own players, if the drop-off in quality isn’t that big?

Typical solutions are options to buy or giving the team taking the player on loan a percentage of a future sale. Will Nantes get either of these? It would help Miazga’s chance at regular playing time but will Chelsea conceded to the demands?

Weah’s impressive preseason

Tim Weah has had one of the best preseasons among the young Americans trying to make inroads at the club level. He had an assist on Moussa Diaby’s goal in a 3-2 win over Atletico Madrid on Sunday and it marks the trend of him playing regularly and contributing.

So what can we expect from Weah this season? It’s tough to say. PSG is a tough place for a young player to play, but Weah is not at a point where he absolutely needs first team minutes there is value in being a squad rotational player on a club as talented as PSG. Eventually, he will need first team minutes but sticking around PSG right now isn’t a bad option even if minutes aren’t regular.

It seems like Weah should be in a good place occasionally as PSG will need squad rotation and should, once again, run away with the league thereby taking pressure off of league games.

Robinson nears Wigan loan

ASN can confirm reports out of England that Wigan Athletic is closing in on acquiring U.S. national team left back Antonee Robinson on loan from Everton. Robinson looked impressive for Everton this preseason but Everton are looking at more established options.

This loan is a lateral move from the one he completed last season when played regularly and helped Bolton narrowly avoid relegation out of the Championship. But Bolton’s coaching staff and front office really valued Antonee Robinson and wanted to bring him back for another loan. Instead Robinson will likely be joining a team that was recently promoted into the Championship.

So the difference between Wigan and Bolton is not very significant – leading to the question why doesn’t Robinson just stay where he is valued and comfortable if the alternative is at the same level? Of course there are numerous variables that come into loans – such as the amount of salary the two clubs are willing to take on, options to buy, etc.

Either way, however, is that Robinson remains a very exciting left back prospect and it a good situation.

Williams slow in his recovery

Initially it seemed as if Danny Williams was recovering nicely from the broken leg that ended his 2017/2018 season. But the American midfielder is not on Huddersfield’s roster for an upcoming preseason trip.

Huddersfield’s German-American coach David Wagner was blunt when discussing Williams along with three other players who are not making the trip.

“Danny Williams is not ready and a different case, but all four wouldn’t have got game time,” Wagner said. “They were disappointed; no one is happy if they are fit and healthy, but not able to join the pre-season camps. But they are professionals and respect the decision.”

It seems as if Williams will not be ready until well into the upcoming Premier League season.

Will Bayern buy Richards?

By now, everyone knows that FC Dallas and U.S. U-20 central defender Chris Richards has played for Bayern Munich’s first team during its recent preseason games. Of course, when all of Bayern’s best players are available and back from their post-World Cup break, Richards will joined Bayern’s U-19 team as was already planned. But that doesn’t mean Richards isn’t impressing.

Those are big words coming from Bayern’s chairman.

Richards, 18, is at Bayern as part of the new partnership between FC Dallas and the German powerhouse. But his strong start does lead to questions.

Is there an option to buy Richards on his loan at Bayern? Does the partnership provide for that?

Furthermore, what is the benefit of the partnership for FC Dallas other than putting their players in the shop window for one of the world’s biggest clubs? Will Bayern send any players to Dallas on loan?

Either way, FC Dallas is in great shape. They’ll either have a rising star central defender, or they’ll be compensated for his loss. For a club that essentially had a huge role in developing Weston McKennie into a Champions League and U.S. national team caliber midfielder and lost him uncompensated, they are protected here.

ASN EDIT: ASN has learned that there is an option to buy on Bayern's loan for Chris Richards

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