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Roster building will continue at Inter Miami


By Mike Rice.

Phil Neville could be considered working above what was expected of him for the 2022 season.

There were almost daily announcements before the start of the season of player departures and arrivals. It was hard to keep up at times, and the next window will no doubt have a bit more business to attend to.

We can find Inter Miami one point off the bottom of the table, but with the big changes and off-field issues, losing just six of 12 has been a positive.

So far, Leonardo Campana has been a revelation and a bit of a savior for his manager after he struggled to get Gonzalo Higuain to play again. Their Argentine Designated Player (DP) took on the villainous role among a section of fans, and a string of injuries kept him off the pitch.

Campana, meanwhile, is enjoying his loan spell in Miami at Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers.

What has been impressive about Campana’s return to goal is the limited creative talent behind him. Bryce Duke has performed well when called up, despite starting four games and appearing as a Major League Soccer sub three times.

He has one goal and nine key assists in that span, while wide players like Ariel Lassiter have provided pace and threat.

Chances are that if they are to invest in a new DP they are likely to be central and attacking.

Atletico Madrid’s Luis Suarez has been heavily linked, Lionel Messi too, but nothing has been confirmed.

These are just rumors at the moment, and let’s not forget that other parties will also consider signing them.

With that in mind, here are some options, DP or not, that Inter Miami could consider:

Tom Lawrence

Derby County did everything they could to survive after their points deduction and came very close. Much of it is down to what Wayne Rooney as manager was able to do with the team he managed to cobble together with constant financial troubles throughout the season.

Lawrence has managed to score 11 times in 38 games for the Rams and the Wales International will attract potential suitors as they are well beyond League One level in England.

He has the potential to be a top attacking midfielder in MLS and is also capable of operating as a centre-forward or on the outside.

His hard working style paired with his quality on the ball will suit Neville and co. are trying to instill in their team. At 28, he would be at his peak for an MLS team looking to find a leader to move them up the standings.

Juan Mata

How about a one-year stop gap at DP to add some creativity and general happiness among the fanbase?

OK, I think he would want more than a year and that might be a little fanciful, but it’s impossible not to like Mata.

What makes things even better is that he is incredibly good at providing forwards with opportunities and seizing them himself, which is something Inter Miami are desperately looking for.

He is in great shape, and at 34 could be tempted by a year as DP in MLS. His profile and the way he supports his team could be a good way to help others in the team, although there will surely be interest in Europe for a player of his quality.

Nicholas Castro

Dare to be bold, like Atlanta and Dallas? The 21-year-old Newell’s Old Boys attacking midfielder has an exciting style of play; run on defenders, can finish with both feet and can fight for the ball.

Castro times his movement well to get in and around the box to receive and finish the first time. He also carries the ball well and has a knack for well-weighted balls.

He would be a player to build the attacking side of the team, although at 21 it would be a gamble for a team that still walks with trepidation when it comes to big signings. The risk is there. He’s still young and doesn’t often complete the full 90 minutes in Argentina,

Each of these three players shows the wide range of options for the same position. It’s unclear exactly how Inter Miami want to set up the long-term roster. Do they want to bring in older big names with their connections like Messi again? Do they want to sign cheaper, less risky targets and not rely on a DP?




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