Sunday, January 4, 2015

1.4.2015: Columbus Crew After La Liga Winger Cedrick

 
Reports out of Spain, have Columbus Crew SC giving 22 year old Cedrick Mabwati a succulent offer, that is for all parties nearly a done deal. The Congolese player has plied his trade in the first and second divisions of Spain for Athletico Madrid, Betis, Osasuna, and Numancia.
 
Cedrick is a speedy versatile player, having played many positions including left back, left wing, and some central, attacking midfield. He has Dominic Oduro speed, but also has skill on the ball, he's an excellent dribbler.
 
More than likely Cedrick will battle Kristinn Steindórsson for the left midfield spot left occupied from the departure of Bernardo Anor.
 
I like Cedrick's Spanish resume a bit more. I believe Steindorsson will be useful and get his share of games as a multiple-depth option throughout midfield; sort of as Meram has done throughout his Columbus career.
 
Another possibility is that Waylon Francis, who had a strong season in 2014, is on his way out for some reason, slotting Cedrick to left back. Or possibly Berhalter wants two speedy wing backs and Cedrick will be converted to right back to balance with Francis's speed on the left.
 
But the more than likely scenario is that Gregg Berhalter can't pass up all that speed, skill on one flank. Having Francis, who gives good service, overlapping Cedrick to seek out Kei Kamara with his crosses sounds like an optimally dangerous wing.
 
Whereas, on the other side, Ethan Finlay will likely win out and Meram will pop up in striker and midfield roles nearly every game.
 
In addition, if signed the price tag that a 22 year old winger, with La Liga and African Cup of Nations experience entails, would more than likely imply that he's the top man for our left side.
 
Speed, with ball skills on the wing, twenty-two years young, and has learned his game in Spain since the age of thirteen. I feel pretty comfortable with that sort of resume/move.
 
If that's not convincing enough, here's Cedrick taking it to Real Madrid a year ago:

 
Not sure how anyone could look at that and not be buzzing to see him in Columbus Crew Stadium.
 
A lot of Crew fans might be saying, another winger? Another midfielder? But, we lost Anor (typically on the left) and we bring in two guys to replace him.

I think it's not a bad situation to be stacked in midfield and to have options.

If Gregg Berhalter can land a 22 year old winger, that has over 150 appearances in Spain, and not have to pay designated player money it may be one of his best signings yet.




Overall, it's an exciting move in my opinion, if it's real and happens.

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