The loan will run just a few months before Cincy will have to decide on its option to buy on July 5.
It’s an incredible low-risk deal for Cincy, besides his PL wages and the likelihood of a club transfer record come July. If he turns out to be the worst of combustible problems, Cincy isn’t out millions and millions. If he bails after four months, Cincy deserves credit for the effort and can seek a solution in the July window.
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Put plainly: It’s a new one for MLS, as a Premier League club transfer record attacker joins an MLS side within a couple of years of the aforementioned transfer.
We say likelihood because it would be truly surprising if Locadia doesn’t score goals. The second-year MLS club gets a 26-year old who was a club-record signing for Brighton in 2018.
Locadia bagged six goals and two assists in 43 appearances for Brighton but has four goals and an assist on loan to Hoffenheim this season.
The numbers didn’t impress in relation to his price tag, but the English and German top flights are levels above still-growing MLS. And his production at PSV Eindhoven before Brighton was special: 176 appearances, 62 goals and 39 assists across all competitions.
The only danger is he might not find the league, travel, and nation to his liking, though he stressed he’s spent plenty of time in some of the United States’ biggest cities.
Here’s what Locadia told Cincinnati.com’s Pat Brennan regarding what will go into the decision come July 5:
“I think the main thing for me is playing games. Like, play all the games, but obviously it’s my thing also. I need to show the coach that I want to play and be important for the team,” Locadia said. “Beside that, scoring goals and I think I will like it here, of course, because I’ve been in the United States often. Depends on the league also. Like, the level of the league.”
Locadia is a Designated Player, joining fellow Cincy new boy Yuya Kubo, a permanent signing from Genk.
Almost regardless of how this move plays out in MLS, it’s a statement-making success for the league.Follow @NicholasMendola