This summer saw another landmark transfer window for Major League Soccer.
MLS is rapidly becoming a breeding ground for young talent. Across the secondary transfer window, we saw teenage goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina complete a $15m move to Chelsea (he’ll stay on loan with Chicago Fire through 2022), fellow stopper Matt Turner go to Arsenal, and NYCFC goalscorer Taty Castellanos move to La Liga side Girona.
Yael Averbuch West hosted none other than Christian Fuchs for the latest episode of Football Americana. The Charlotte FC captain provided insight into the creation of Major League Soccer’s newest expansion team, and bringing European culture into the American side.
Though the MLS window is now shut, European sides remain open for business, while January will come around before we know it.
So, with that in mind, here’s five more players who could be primed for big transfers across the pond:
He’s now 25 years old, but DeJuan Jones has undergone rapid development since the New England Revolution picked him in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft.
The left-back has always been solid defensively, but is growing in stature as an attacking force and played a key role in the Revs winning the Supporters’ Shield last year.
Jones’ strong form led to a first USMNT call-up for their training camp back in January. Not only that, as revealed by 90min, Belgian side Anderlecht are considering Jones as a possible replacement for outgoing Spanish left-back Sergio Gomez, who is joining Manchester City.
Talks remain in the early stages, and Anderlecht won’t be the only interested party over the next few months, so watch this space.
Julian Araujo has long been eyed up as a potential candidate to move to Europe and things have gathered pace more recently.
The LA Galaxy right-back has been strongly linked with a move to Portuguese giants Porto, while 90min sources have confirmed there is strong interest from multiple clubs across the continent.
Araujo himself recently revealed his desire to test himself in the ‘top leagues’.
“I definitely want to go to Europe. It’s my dream. My goal is to go to Europe. I want to reach my highest potential and I feel like going to Europe is going to help me do that,” he said exclusively to 90min.
“I’m someone that wants to learn every day, someone that takes advice from everybody, that wants to learn. I know, like I said, to reach my highest potential I need to go play in the best, the top leagues.”
No official bid has been lodged, but Kai Wagner is drawing serious interest from Leeds United, according to reports.
That shouldn’t come as a surprise. The German has been among the best left-backs in MLS since joining the Philadelphia Union from Wurzburger Kickers in 2019 and was a part of their historic Supporters’ Shield-winning team.
Wagner is as solid defensively as he is creative and would fit in well at a number of European clubs – Benfica and Dinamo Zagreb are also credited with interest.
Eduard Atuesta was long considered the LAFC midfielder who would make a big European move, with AC Milan even interested at one point.
In the end, he moved to Brazilian giants Palmeiras, but now it looks like the Black and Gold will finally move a midfielder across the pond with Jose Cifuentes.
The 23-year-old Ecuador international is currently being linked with Premier League trio Leeds United, Leicester City, and Brighton. Cifuentes is a powerhouse No.8 with strong dribbling skills, an eye for goal (scoring six times in MLS this season), and a high defensive work rate.
At just 18 years old, Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty is still very much in the early stages of his development. However, his potential is huge and there have already been European clubs tracking his progress.
Marshall-Rutty, able to play both as a full-back or a winger, spent time training with Liverpool, Arsenal, and Club Brugge during the winter before turning to Toronto FC, where he’s made 12 MLS appearances for Bob Bradley so far this season.
The teenager is reportedly valued at $20m and we’re already seeing players leave MLS for those sorts of sums now so that seems realistic in the next six-to-12 months.
“The biggest thing for me was to see the young players around the world, around my age in and around the first team,” Marshall-Rutty said of his Liverpool experience earlier this year. “Those are my dreams to play at the highest level, so just to see where they’re at and how far I need to get and how their habits and try and improve and implement them into my game.”
Watch the story of Charlotte FC’s journey to MLS in 90min’s The Making of Charlotte FC, presented by DoorDash, on 90min channels now. Subscribe to our new US YouTube channel.