Dos Santos joins the Galaxy as a third Designated Player alongside Steven Gerrard and Robbie Keane, with the new Targeted Allocation Money being used to lower the budget charge of Omar Gonzalez’s contract so he is no longer a DP.
At 26, Giovani is a huge capture for MLS and offers further proof that the league is continuing to grow at an alarming rate, with stars from across Europe all keeping tabs on the development of North American soccer in the hope of a move.
The club did not confirm details of the contract but Giovani is believed to be set to earn around $6 million per year on a four-and-a-half-year deal that will keep him in LA through the 2019 season.
On top of that the club had to pay a transfer fee to Spanish side Villarreal to sign him. That fee was reportedly near the $7 million mark, taking the total cost of the deal up to $34 million ($27 million salary and a $7 million transfer fee).
There will therefore be enormous pressure on Giovani to perform to his best ability and head coach Bruce Arena fills he will only get better in MLS.
“Giovani is a special player,” Arena said. “He has experience and success competing at the highest level and we believe he will only continue to develop. We are happy to add him to our roster and have confidence he can be an integral part of our success going forward.”
His move to MLS sees Dos Santos leave European football for the first time in his career, having started at FC Barcelona’s famous La Masia academy at the age of just 11.
After making his breakthrough with Barcelona, Giovani went on to play for the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Galatasaray, RCD Mallorca and most recently Villarreal, where he scored 12 times in 58 league appearances over the past two seasons.
The tricky attacker won’t join up with his new teammates until Mexico’s CONCACAF Gold Cup run is over, so he is expected to make his debut in early August, with the home game against Seattle Sounders on the 9th looking likely to be the first time we see Giovani play for the Galaxy.
Is Giovani Dos Santos a good signing for MLS and LA Galaxy? How important will he be to the team?