DC United is aching to improve its midfield, and is apparently aiming to land one of the league’s bigger busts to do it.
Granted Nigel de Jong wasn’t really in the league long enough to be considered a massive bust — we’re talking six months — but the reckless-tackling midfielder did manage to apologize to Stu Holden for breaking his leg hours before almost breaking Darlington Nagbe’s leg.
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That said, there’s little doubt that de Jong is an upgrade over DC’s current unit, and he’s known as a good locker room guy, which fits with their plans, according to The Washington Post’s Steven Goff.
One source said United is “not writing off this season” but recognizes a playoff berth is almost out of the question. In addition to de Jong, the club has extended offers for a second designated player as part of an effort to begin the rebuilding process right away.
Goff also included a nugget that DC tried to land Wayne Rooney earlier this summer.
De Jong has been at Galatasaray since leaving LA, and he has not been a strong contributor according to WhoScored.com. That said, he’s landed better than 90 percent of his passes and only a trio of yellow cards.
But forgetting tactics and even potentially landing some more butts in the seats, why? DC has lost six-straight and sits 14 points out of a playoff spot. Maybe it’d be worth showing their diehard supporters that they care enough to splash the money, and perhaps there’s another piece in the midfield that would make De Jong work for the Black-and-Red.
Two reasons we’d like to see it work out and the first is that Ben Olsen seems like a super decent guy and DC has made season-ending runs as recently as last year. The second is that the petty “Salute to De Jong” video the league put online after he left for Galatasaray, a compilations of his fouls and poor moments, would become next level hilarious.