Premier League clubs beginning to circle around NYCFC’s Jack Harrison – Report

Jack Harrison is having one hell of a season. So it comes as no real surprise that his performances with New York City FC in 2017 have caught the eye of clubs back in England, with Kristian Dyer reporting that a couple of teams are eyeing up a move.

The Stoke-born 20 year old was the No. 1 pick in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft and enjoyed a promising breakthrough season last term. He notched up four goals and seven assists in 21 regular season games but has stepped up another gear this campaign.

Photo: Chris Kachanoski/MLSGB

Harrison has already doubled his goal tally from last season, scoring eight in 19 games. He’s also provided five assists and has had a hand in either a goal or assist in six of his last eight matches.

But his displays mean NYCFC might have a battle on their hands if they’re to keep hold of one of Major League Soccer’s rising stars. Kristian Dyer revealed on the MSG Network that Harrison is the subject of interest from a few clubs back in England.

“One, if not two Premier League clubs are looking at him, as well as a number of Championship teams,” Dyer said.



“But the price tag might become an issue here. He would cost a lot more than Matt Miazga did two years ago, in terms of the transfer fee.”

Miazga joined Chelsea from the Red Bulls for around $5 million back in January 2016, playing twice before being sent on loan to Vitesse. He played 35 times for the Dutch club last term but is back at Chelsea now.

Harrison is the same age now as Miazga was when he moved to Europe 18 months ago. But as Dyer points out, it will take a more significant offer to lure him out of MLS.

Harrison is seemingly improving all the time. He is benefiting from the experience and leadership of David Villa and Andrea Pirlo. So he has no real reason to jump ship at the midpoint of a successful MLS campaign. But every player has their price. If a big-money offer comes in from the Premier League, NYCFC might have to plan for life without Jack Harrison.

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Podcast: Matt Miazga, Galaxy’s signings & Pep Guardiola discussed

In the latest MLSGB Podcast, Zack Walford talks to Louis East and Jamie Ives about Matt Miazga’s transfer from the New York Red Bulls to Chelsea FC, and also discuss some of LA Galaxy’s most recent signings.

We finish off by talking about Pep Guardiola’s upcoming move to Manchester City now that it is official and have a quick recap of the Premier League’s transfer deadline day business.

Be sure to comment below or get in touch on Twitter: @MLSGB_

Matt Miazga turned down ‘multimillion dollar’ DP contract to join Chelsea

Matt Miazga is no longer a New York Red Bulls player, having completed his move to Premier League side Chelsea FC today, though the MLS club can’t be blamed for not trying to keep hold of their academy star.

In the wake of the move, it has become apparent that the Red Bulls attempted to make Miazga the first Homegrown Player to sign a Designated Player contract, according to Red Bulls Sporting Director Ali Curtis via Grant Wahl.

Wahl took to Twitter to reveal the details from a conversation with Ali Curtis. Information included the fact that Miazga was unwilling to sign a new deal with the Eastern Conference side because he was so keen on securing an immediate move to Chelsea.

The fact that the Red Bulls were willing to make Miazga a DP is significant and indicates just how highly rated the 20-year-old defender was by those within the organisation.

The academy product was reportedly offered a “multimillion dollar” DP contract to stay in New York, but he rejected that offer as his desire to move to the Premier League was too strong.

Curtis described his move as “bittersweet” but revealed that the funds acquired from the move will be reinvested into the club, with a significant amount being put into the club’s youth setup.

“It is a bittersweet day for the New York Red Bulls,” he told the Red Bulls’ official website.

“We are very happy for Matt to get the opportunity but it is tough to see him leave after coming through our academy to the first team – there is a different feel when one of your homegrown players leaves.

“We tried everything we could to keep Matt but we understand and respect his desire to play in Europe. Moving forward, we’ll either reinforce the team from within our existing player pool or we will acquire a player from the international market. Additionally, the proceeds of this transfer provide us with greater resources to put back into our youth system.”

“We will cheer for Matt from Red Bull Arena. He will always be a part of our family and we wish him the best,” Curtis added.

Done Deal: Matt Miazga joins Chelsea until 2020

It’s official. Matt Miazga has completed his transfer from the New York Red Bulls to Chelsea, penning a four-and-a-half-year contract with the Premier League giants.

The 20-year-old centre-back will hope to impress in his new surroundings and has revealed he cannot wait to “learn from some of the best players in the world”.

“I am very happy to sign for Chelsea, a world-famous club with a reputation for major success,” Miazga said after completing his move to the Blues.

“I am delighted to be in the Premier League, the best league in the world, and can’t wait to meet my team-mates and get going.”

The Red Bulls Academy product made 38 appearances for the 2015 MLS Supporters’ Shield winners, starting 34 of those games.

He was signed to a Homegrown Player contract in May 2013 and established himself as an integral part of the Red Bulls defence over the course of last season.

He will now hope to continue his fine development with Chelsea and can look for inspiration from top quality defenders in John Terry, Gary Cahill and Kurt Zouma.

Are you glad to see Matt Miazga rewarded with a move to Chelsea FC?

Revealed: Guus Hiddink’s plans for NYRB star nearing Chelsea move

Chelsea are on the verge of signing USMNT defender Matt Miazga from New York Red Bulls and interim manager Guus Hiddink has revealed his plans for the promising young star.

The fee for the 20 year old is believed to be in the region of £3.5 million and the Red Bulls academy product is known to be a ball-playing defender.

Hiddink hinted that Miazga will be a player Chelsea will look to use later on down the line.

“We are not rushing but he will be one of the squad members for the future.”

Chelsea are well-known for bringing in young and upcoming stars and loaning them out, with no less than 29 players currently loaned out from their parent club.

New York's Matt Miazga wins a header in the MLS Eastern Conference Semifinal Second Leg: New York Red Bulls vs. DC United at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, USA, on Nov. 8, 2015. Photo: Ashley Marshall/MLSGB.com

New York’s Matt Miazga wins a header in the MLS Eastern Conference Semifinal Second Leg: New York Red Bulls vs. DC United at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, USA, on Nov. 8, 2015. Photo: Ashley Marshall/MLSGB.com

Although there are no such reports that Miazga will be available to other clubs at this stage, it is clear he has some way to go before he is to feature for the first team. Hiddink says he will assess the centre-back but is already aware of his capabilities.

“He is a young guy stepping up to the national team and we always have such players here. You can then see what they are capable of.”

The Blues are constantly rumoured to be looking for a long-term replacement for captain John Terry and it’s evident they are looking for a defender who can play out from the back.

Will Miazga be a hit with Chelsea? Should he be loaned out in English football for more experience?

Chelsea set to announce £3.5m signing of Red Bulls star ‘within 24 hours’

Chelsea look to have won the race for New York Red Bulls defender Matt Miazga, with the young USMNT star set to seal a move to the Blues by the weekend.

Miazga has been linked with a move to the Premier League for several months now, and Chelsea look to have beaten Leicester and Stoke to his services, according to ESPN FC.

The 20-year-old centre-back has left the USMNT training camp early in order to fly to London, where he is expected to undergo a medical and sign a contract by the end of Thursday.

The reigning Premier League champions will pay a transfer fee of around $5 million (£3.5 million) for the Red Bulls academy product, who will not require a work permit based on the fact that he holds a Polish passport.

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Miazga, who has been regarded as the best American prospect in MLS over the past year, only has 11 months left on his current Red Bulls contract, and so the club have been left with little choice but to sell their young star for profit, rather than losing him for free at the end of the 2016 season.

Miazga helped the Red Bulls to lift the MLS Supporters’ Shield in 2013 and then again last season. He will now hope to learn from one of the game’s best central defenders in John Terry if his proposed move to London goes through.

Chelsea have a tendency to loan out young prospects, who are not seen as ready for first team duty at Stamford Bridge, but that is not set to happen to Miazga, who will remain with the Blues until the end of the current campaign before his short-term future will then be decided in the summer.

Will Matt Miazga be a good signing for Chelsea? Is he ready for a big move to Europe?

Getting Stuck In: Should they stay or should they go?

The Getting Stuck In column delves into some of the more intriguing aspects in US Soccer and MLS, shining a light on the stories regarding the league’s teams and its most-loved characters. This week Dave Lewis looks into whether American players should strive to play in Europe or keep their feet grounded on home soil…

When Jurgen Klinsmann claimed that he wanted American players to push themselves to play at the highest level, he intentionally took a jab at MLS. Actually, it was more like a slap. The American soccer landscape shook. Just this week, Klinsmann’s second in command Andi Herzog was quoted as saying: “Our goal is to get as many players to Europe as possible.”

How could Klinsy dismiss MLS this way? I mean, this is his adopted country where he gets his tan and laid back SoCal vibe. And with so many MLS players on his January roster (20), why alienate them? How does that help his cause?

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It’s no secret Europe is the highest level when it comes to soccer, with Champions League football being the toughest competition out there. And Helen Keller could see that MLS is nowhere near the level of Europe in general. That being said, the American player has always faced a dilemma: ‘Do I stay in the States and play college, get drafted by an MLS team and maybe get a shot in Europe later, or do I try and ply my trade in Europe right away (given the chance)?’

So many players have made the wrong choice. They either went too early or too late to Europe. Or they never go at all, leaving US fans wondering, what if.

Landon Donovan, arguably America’s finest footballer, did go to Europe but was all over the map – literally. His journey is the best example of what American footballers face; chaos and confusion.  He was brave and bold by going over to Germany as a teenager, playing with Bayer Leverkusen. Most players would recognize this as a dream – the Bundesliga, a big club, living in Germany – But he just never adjusted to the German culture. Donovan was just homesick (or maybe a victim of an unwritten anti-US bias). He was subsequently loaned to San Jose in MLS. When given another chance with Leverkusen years later, he lasted just seven games before getting homesick again.

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Many US fans dubbed Donovan a bust in Europe despite having won two MLS Cups before the age of 23. It’s obvious LD went too young. But when Bayern Munich and his former Cal pal and Bayern manager Jurgen Klinsmann called in his late twenties, well, we all thought this was it. LD will do work for the Bavarian giants. But he worked for only six miserable games on loan. He would go on to have two incredible loan spells with Everton near the end of his career, that included winning a player of the month honour. His performances would leave me and my buddy Eric glued to the television going bananas with pride over how he looked like a legit Premier League player. But the verdict on LD’s career has to be MLS rich, European poor.

Players are plucked at different points from MLS rosters with varying degrees of success. Clint Dempsey (Revs) was young. Brian McBride (Crew) was old. And Carlos Bocanegra (Fire) was somewhere in between. They all are legends with Fulham so their timing was right. But the timing for players like Jozy Altidore was probably all wrong.

Jozy did well with the Red Bulls (37 games and 15 goals) and caught Villarreal’s attention while still a teenager. He was raw, but again Helen Keller could have seen he had talent. After a few loan spells he went to Hull and laid an egg: 1 goal in 28 appearances. Then, after crushing the Dutch League (my grandmother could score in that league and she has no left foot), he went to Sunderland and laid an even bigger egg: 1 goal in 42. As a result, most would label him a European catastrophe.

So Jozy went back to MLS where maybe he belonged all along. Some think Jozy got a fair chance in Europe. But some would say the deck was stacked against him from the start. Hull and Sunderland were bottom-dwelling teams clawing their way to stay up. Most managers don’t trust unknown commodities like US players to save their clubs and their jobs.

Fair? Not really. US players may lack technical skills and flair but they work hard, are extremely fit and are total professionals. That’s why when ex-Sounder DeAndre Yedlin got subbed after 18 minutes for Sunderland in December I thought: “Man, he sure wasn’t ready for England, and he sure didn’t deserve that.”

So now, with the January transfer window open, I thought I would look at three US players linked with European moves and evaluate whether they should stay in MLS or listen to Klinsy.

Matt Miazga – Age 20 – Central Defender – New York Red Bulls

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Rumors: The Polish-American (hasn’t decided which national team to play for) was linked in the fall to Chelsea, Leicester, Stoke and Swansea.

What he does well: Strong in the air, exceptional pace for his size and defends set pieces like a warrior.

What he needs to work on: Ball at his feet, less fouling and temper.

Stay or go?: Will he sit on a bench in Europe if he goes? If he goes to the Prem, most likely. Germany? Less likely. His game needs to develop and getting matches under his belt in MLS (only 34 appearances so far) defending against the likes of Drogba, Villa, Kamara, Giovinco and Keane can’t hurt. STAY (for now)!

 

Jordan Morris – Age 21 – Forward – Unattached

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Rumors: Is training with Bundesliga side Werder Bremen this month but could sign with his hometown club, Seattle Sounders, who own his MLS rights.

What he does well: Bullish approach to the game like a young Wayne Rooney; physically gifted with good speed.

What he needs to work on: Defense, pro experience

Stay or go?: This is a strange case. Usually a player like Morris, who just finished his junior year at Stanford, would go to MLS. But he already has a goal and seven caps for the national team, which is unheard of for a college player. He wants to play in Europe. His tenacity and high IQ would work well in Germany. GO!

 

Gyasi Zardes – Age 24 – Forward/winger – LA Galaxy

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Rumors: The US international has been linked to Reading in the Championship and Belgian side Gent, while more recently there was an offer from an unnamed Championship side for $3 million.

What he does well: Big, strong and powerful, runs well down the flanks, links well with midfielders.

What he needs to work on: Passing.

Stay or go?: In 2014 he was a goal-scoring machine for the Galaxy. Struggled a bit in 2015. But he had a breakout year with the national team as Klinsmann used him as a winger. This is a tough call. Is the Championship that much better than MLS (a debate for another day)? Will he develop playing in a smaller league like in Belgium? He is 24, making decent money and playing for an MLS glamour club. STAY!

Chelsea among Premier League trio chasing young Red Bulls star

New York Red Bulls defender Matt Miazga is a player with a seemingly limitless ceiling. His performances this season, for both club and country, have seen his talents recognised from across the pond as Chelsea are reportedly now keen on securing his services.

Miazga may only be 20-years-old but he has been labelled as “by far the best young prospect in MLS” by a league scout who went on to add: “He’s got all the potential to be one of the best defenders in the world for over a decade,” according to Four Four Two.

The same publication claims Chelsea, along with Leicester City and Stoke, are interested in bringing the Polish-American centre-back to the Premier League in the near future.

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Miazga’s performances at the U20 World Cup with the United States in the summer proved his quality on the world stage and that seems to have attracted interest from Europe.

The player himself is remaining grounded for now, telling Four Four Two: “I’m aware of all those rumors, but at the moment I don’t want to focus on that.

“The ultimate goal is to play on the highest level, but right now I’m happy in New York. I can still grow here and become a better player. When the time comes – I will be ready for Europe.”

The 6ft 4in youngster has yet to decide whether to represent the US or Poland at senior international level with both nations desperate for his services. US U20 coach Tab Ramos recently labelled Miazga as “the future of American soccer”.

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And a similar battle looks set to follow at club level as Miazga has plenty of suitors chasing his talents. Chelsea are currently the biggest club linked with the young Red Bulls star and a move could come in January.

Miagza himself has admitted he’s a fan of the Premier League but is remaining grounded for now as he looks to help the Red Bulls to a first ever MLS Cup title in the next month.

“The EPL is a very intriguing proposition. I love that league – it’s very competitive and there’s a lot of passion involved. Hopefully one day I will have an opportunity to play there. I believe my skillset fits the way football is played there.”

Should Chelsea make a move for Matt Miazga in January? Is the Red Bulls defender “the future of American soccer”?