Almiron says goal is to be playing in Europe by 2019

Atlanta United / @ATLUTD

Atlanta United has built one of the strongest teams in Major League Soccer in less than two full seasons, but one of the potential downsides of having the talented squad is the potential for losing players overseas.

[ MORE: Garber “hopeful” Crew will stay in Columbus ]

It happens to many clubs when they boast young talent, and Atlanta is the epitome that example right now, boasting MLS’ leading goalscorer in Josef Martinez, as well as one of the league’s most creative and dynamic attackers with Miguel Almiron.

The latter of the two has already stated that 2018 could very well be his last season in MLS, as he’ll aim to make the leap to Europe next season if the right offer comes about.

“I have said it before, that my objective is to play in Europe,” Almiron said. “I work daily on that. I’m happy here in Atlanta. The club makes me feel comfortable, but yes, in 2019, hopefully I will be playing in Europe.”

As significant of a loss as it would be for Atlanta to be forced to part ways with Almiron, there was always going to be a strong likelihood that he’d leave after a short span of time.

In two seasons with the Five Stripes, Almiron has tallied 17 goals and added 25 assists in 53 regular season appearances, making him a massive threat in almost every match.

With MLS beginning to exemplify its ability to produce top-end talent, which was recently on display with the transfer of Vancouver Whitecaps teenage sensation Alphonso Davies to Bayern Munich, clubs have to begin to examine the possibility of moving on from their top players quickly because of the going rate.

Davies commanded a transfer fee that could reach over $22 million, which is astounding for a player that has scored just five goals in three seasons despite exemplifying massive upside.

That said, Almiron will likely command significantly more capital from any potential European buyer, and in that case, it will be very difficult for Atlanta to turn an offer down which they could then turn around and use to not only purchase more players but also continue developing an academy that already features a number of top-end prospects.