The LA Galaxy made it official today. Signing French midfielder Romain Alessandrini to an undisclosed contract and making him a Designated Player (DP) in the process. Alessandrini, 27-years old and from Marseille, France will join the club after spending the previous three seasons with his hometown club, Olympique Marseille.
While with Marseille, Alessandrini scored eleven goals while adding nine assists. He’s a speedy winger with some technical ability that has seen his recent playing time dwindle. An injury slowed his chances with the French National Team in 2013 and for the most part, he’s probably failed to live up to the lofty expectations of his hometown fans.
LA Galaxy General Manager, Peter Vagenas had only positive things to say about this signing. “We are very excited to add a talented, attacking winger like Romain to our roster.” Vagenas continued, “he is in the prime of his career and has spent time playing at a top division in Europe. Romain will play a valuable role in our team’s success this season and we look forward to him joining our roster ahead of the 2017 campaign.”
But with the Galaxy, Alessandrini will be thrust into the spotlight. ESPNFC is reporting that the Galaxy paid a $1.75 million transfer fee and that Alessandrini will make $2 million per year. Other rumors have the contract length pushed to a possible three years, although that has not been confirmed.
The Frenchman will occupy the second of three DP slots open to each club. The other DP is Giovani dos Santos while the third slot will probably go to current defender and likely captain, Jelle Van Damme. Although, through some complicated MLS rules the team will be able to buy down Van Damme’s contract during the summer if they want to reopen space for another player.
With Alessandrini, the Galaxy will add an important piece to an offseason that has seen the entire coaching staff depart for the U.S. Men’s National Team, and a large number of veteran players leave the team — Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane, Steven Gerrard, Alan Gordon, Mike Magee, Jeff Larentowicz, Leonardo, and AJ DeLaGarza. He’s known primarily as a speedy winger with technical skill and the ability to score with either foot. And for a Galaxy offense that is short on gaurantees, he’ll need to both create chances and finish regularly to justify his standing as a Designated Player.
Alessandrini will train with the LA Galaxy as soon as he is able to receive his P-1 Visa and his ITC. Apparently, in order to obtain his Visa, he will need to travel back to France. Once that has been completed the club is expected to announce his first media availability to the media.
The Galaxy will kick-off their preseason schedule when they host the Xolos of Tijuana on Tuesday, February 7th at 8 PM at StubHub Center.