After the successes of the USA national team at the World Cup in Qatar and of course Apple TV’s new enormous global deal for the MLS broadcast rights, a light has been pointed at Major League Soccer. Not just the MLS players at the World Cup, but the wider league as a prosperous division to acquire talent. Matt Turner, Jhon Duran, and Gaga Slonina have already joined the Premier League from MLS. We speculate who could be making the journey across the Atlantic next in the MLS January transfer window 2023.
MLS January transfer window 2023
Choosing an MLS team? Some look no further than the destination of their next family holiday. Taking the kids to Disney World? You can easily get to Exploria Stadium, after all, it’s less than 20 miles from the main Disney resort.
One player you might not see turn out for Orlando City however is Facundo Torres. The 22-year-old Uruguayan international went to the World Cup but wasn’t picked off the bench for any of the three games. That hasn’t dampened Mikel Arteta’s interest in the winger, as talks are rumored to be ongoing to bring him to the Emirates.
The player himself has been quoted as saying it’s his dream to play in Europe. That said, his father stalled a move to make that a reality before. Serie A juggernauts, Juventus, were reported to be interested in Torres when he was just 15 years old. Yet his parental figure quashed it, stating he was too young for that move. Seven years on, his dad might not be as protective.
Valentín Castellanos might be on-loan at Girona from New York City, yet that hasn’t stopped interest in him throughout the MLS January transfer window 2023. While the Argentine forward hasn’t been to replicate his form in La Liga, there’s a glaring difference in where he’s playing. Girona has only just earned a promotion to the league, whereas NYCFC was consistently chasing the top end of Major League Soccer during his tenure. Of course, he scored 23 goals in 2021 when the franchise lifted the MLS Cup.
Should he join the ‘MLS players in the Premier League’ collective, Brighton and Hove Albion are rumored to be interested in him to replace Leandro Trossard, who has recently moved to Arsenal.
The Argentine player has proved himself to have the ability to compete in Major League Soccer and is a component of this Girona team. However, he may fancy a move to the south of the coast of England even if to just showcase his skills on a bigger stage.
While MLS transfer rumors in 2023 might not be circulating Thiago Almada, he made history at the World Cup which will no doubt put him higher up in scouting reports around Europe. The Argentine midfielder became the first active MLS player to lift the World Cup. He did however only join Atlanta United in 2022, which could stave off any movement in the MLS January transfer window 2023. It could instead simply bump up his price even more. Manchester United was rumored to be interested last year. It’s hard to argue that he doesn’t fit the outline that Erik ten Hag likes to employ.
Whether he goes to Old Trafford or elsewhere, the head honchos at Major League Soccer (who control all the contracts of players in the division) are already licking their lips at the potential value of any future transfer for Almada. Reputable journalists are already speculating that his World Cup winner status and performances for Atlanta United could make him ‘the most expensive outbound transfer’ in MLS history. Obviously held in high regard.
Given the looming American ownership and American head coach, Jesse Marsch, there are always going to be MLS transfer rumors in 2023 surrounding Leeds United. Marsch has made it no secret he likes to work with players he already has existing relationships with. Enter Caden Clark, a 19-year-old American midfielder who has returned to RB Leipzig after his loan at NY Red Bulls finished.
Should his parent club want to give him more experience outside of the Red Bull Arena, then he could be more than just an MLS transfer rumor in 2023. A loan move could allow the teenager yet more valuable game time as he develops.
While Leeds United is the obvious choice with the links to both American and Red Bull influence, his abilities could lend to attacking-wide play at Elland Road. While Jack Harrison and Wilfried Gnonto have their positions pretty much locked in the starting eleven, Clarke has shown he has the capacity to play on either wing as well as the middle. That would give Marsch a lot more flexibility in the second half of the season as he contends with a fixture pile-up of Premier League and FA Cup ties.
The German attacking midfielder was one of the brightest stars throughout the 2022 Major League Soccer season. He picked up the Landon Donovan MVP award as well as finishing as the competition’s top goal scorer with 23.
While he might not be incredibly young, he’s not over the hill at 27 years of age. His statistics since ditching Europe make for exceptional reading, as he’d complement any team looking for more of an attacking threat. Teams like Nottingham Forest, Everton, and Wolverhampton Wanderers have struggled in front of goal in the 2022/23 season. Could this Berliner hold the key to more goals?