The French newspapers are confirming what we’ve suspected for the last two weeks — that Romain Alessandrini (27-years old) is bound for the beaches of Southern California. The Olympique Marseille winger was seen at the airport in France and is likely to be headed for the LA Galaxy’s midfield, according to French Sports Newspaper, L’Equipe.
In fact, some french twitter users have already spotted the midfielder at the airport possibly readying himself for a Los Angeles arrival.
Alessandrini ce matin à 10 h 30… Direction #LosAngeles via Londres…Le gaucher va certainement quitter l'#OM cet hiver. Mieux pour lui. pic.twitter.com/3YRukIKIWS
— Nabil Djellit (@Nabil_djellit) January 29, 2017
Alessandrini has played in six games for Marseille this year, with no goals and no assists and racked up just over 240 minutes of playing time. He’s primarily a speedy left winger, although he has spent time during his career as a striker. The Galaxy have been linked to Alessandrini for quite some time and it seems with Marseille’s recent acquisition of Dimitri Payet, from West Ham United, he may have finally been seen as expendable enough to move to the LA Galaxy.
Kevin Baxter, of the LA Times, is reporting that the LA Galaxy have not confirmed or denied the signing and that “We’re not in a position to make anything formal yet,” a team spokesperson relayed.
Adam Serrano, LA Galaxy Insider, is now reporting that Alessandrini is making his way to Los Angeles to finalize the deal but that the two teams have not completed the deal. He is also reporting that the teams are close.
Baxter later published another article that says the team is preparing for a Wednesday press conference should the two parties agree to a deal.
Alessandrini would be a good piece to a weakened Galaxy midfield. The team parted ways with Steven Gerrard, Landon Donovan, Nigel De Jong, and Mike Magee by the time the season concluded. And they relied heavily on Sebastian Lletget, who filled in the central midfield role, and Emmanuel Boateng who was an inconsistent but sometimes great presence on the wing. Alessandrini will add some depth to that position and should push Boateng to a bench role that may help his development.
Alessandrini is expected to fill one of the two remaining LA Galaxy Designated Player (DP) positions. With Jelle Van Damme likely to be promoted, temporarily, to the other open DP spot, the Galaxy will maximize their league allowed DPs. But Van Damme is likely to be bought down in the summer if the Galaxy find a need for another player (LA have previously been linked to Villarreal midfielder Jonathan dos Santos)
It remains to be seen if Allessanrini can be helpful to the Galaxy. Bruce Arena spent time and resources to find an impact winger but was never really able to land a difference maker. With Alessandrini, the Galaxy are hopeful that he can be an important piece in a midfield that will include newly signed Jermaine Jones (35-years old), and João Pedro (23-years old). Leaving Lletget, Baggio Husidic, and Boateng as the only returning members of the LA Galaxy’s midfield starters.
It’s interesting times for the Galaxy. They’ve replaced a large portion of their aging roster with younger players, the one constant throughout the years, Bruce Arena and his coaching staff, have also been replaced after Arena reprised his role with the USMNT.
New General Manager Peter Vagenas, new Head Coach Curt Onalfo, and President Chris Klein have had to dig deep to overhaul the lineup in 2017, and with Alessandrini, they may finally draw the 2017 offseason to a close.
The LA Galaxy will play their opening game of the 2017 season on March 4th against FC Dallas at StubHub Center.
- Updated the story at 8:45 PM to include the report by Adam Serrano (1.29.2017)
- Updated the story at 8:57 PM to include the report by Kevin Baxter about a press conference (1.29.2017)