Twitter user @ScoopES posed the following question to us yesterday:
Never one to back down from a challenge from the internet, I posed this question to the staff here at Brotherly Game, and got some pretty good responses.
Nick Youngstein - Dream: Luis Suárez. Real: Jerome Kiesewetter
John Rossi - Dream: Radja Nainggolan. Real: Demba Ba. Real Dream: Daniele De Rossi
Drew Gobrecht - I mean, if there are no limitations I'll take Lionel Messi every single time. It seems silly to me not to take the best player in the world if given the option.
But if we wanna be more realistic? I'd like to see us pick up someone like Julian Schieber. (No, I did not know this player before seeing this post. Yes, I did more research than is reasonable to find this guy).
He's a tallish (6'1") Center Forward who plays in Bundesliga and has had a fair amount of success (7 goals in 1275 minutes for Bertha in the 14/15 season).
He's listed at €2.75 million on Transfermarkt, but we might be able to get him for even cheaper because he's spent the last year recovering from injury. He's only 27, so it's probably too early to call his entire career over yet. His only other major injury was a torn muscle back in 10/11 that also had him out for most of a year. So maybe a bit of an injury risk, but also a possible big reward for a player who's probably got some miles left in his tank. And we wouldn't have to overspend for him.
Seems like a Moneyball signing to me. Here's some highlights just for fun.
Evan Villella - Dream: Yaya Toure Real: Kolo Toure
Andrew Stoltzfus - Dream: LeBron James....or Dimitri Payet (he's better than Zidane...)
Realistic: Gabby Agbonlahor, John Anthony Brooks, or Tyrone Mings
#ThatsSoUnion Signing: Robert Green
Matt Albaugh - Dream/Not out of the realm of possibility but probably unrealistic: Leighton Baines
Chris Allen - Dream: Messi
Realistic: Terrence Boyd
As for me, Drew's argument to take the best player in the world is valid so in the dream scenario I'd take Lionel Messi (although Cristiano Ronaldo might be a better fit for the more physical MLS). In reality, I'd look into Guangzhou Evergrande's Alan. The Brazilian striker is 26 years old and at 6'2" would be big enough to handle himself against physical MLS center backs. He scored a total of 24 goals with Red Bull Salzburg in 2014-15 in the Austrian Bundesliga, however he's fallen out of favor a bit with Guangzhou, who now rely on Jackson Martinez for goal production. He may decide he's gotten his payday in China and look for someplace else to ply his trade. Transfermarkt lists him at 3 million which is expensive for the Union, but if he can produce like he did with Salzburg he'd be well worth it.
So who do you like? Let's hear your dream and more realistic answers in the comments section below!