NYCFC Acquires Herrera on Loan From Manchester City

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by Christian Araos

Yangel Herrera is joining New York City FC on loan from Manchester City the MLS club announced on Monday. It is the third such transaction made between the clubs and Herrera will not be the team’s third Designated Player.

Herrera, 19, is defensive midfielder who was with the Venezuela’s under-20 team for the South American U20 Championships and impressed Manchester City, which outbid Benfica to sign him on deadline day at the end of January. Man City did not announce the signing for two weeks even though Herrera’s former club Atlético Venezuela did so the night of the deal.

“We’re happy to have Yangel with us for the 2017 MLS season and he will provide strong competition for places in midfield,” New York’s sporting director Claudio Reyna said. “Yangel is recognized as an extremely promising young player in South America and we’re looking forward to seeing him develop during his time with us in New York. We feel NYCFC will be a fantastic place for him to play, particularly working with Patrick Vieira who has excellent experience working with young players.”

Manchester City is believed to have paid about $3 million to sign Herrera, which would be enough for him to qualify as a designated player if MLS’ usual method of determining salary budget charges applied., NYCFC.com managing editor Mark Booth, however, said on Twitter that Herrera would not be a DP. Either way, Herrera is going to play for NYCFC — a step forward in his development, he said.

“I’m very happy to take this next step in my career. To have the opportunity to play with such a high caliber of players is very exciting and to join a team that has a good football philosophy is very important to me,” Herrera told NYCFC.com. “I’m looking forward to playing under Patrick Vieira as he’s someone who played my position and I know I’ll be able to learn a lot from him. I want to absorb all the good things from Patrick and the other players.”

An MLS spokesperson clarified that Herrera will not be a Designated Player nor will NYCFC have to use Targeted Allocation Money to pay Herrera’s budget charge. However, NYCFC will be charged the amount that Manchester City is paying Herrera in salary in 2017 as well as transfer payments made to Atletico Venezuela.

If Manchester City had paid the $3 million up front, Herrera would have to be a DP. That Herrera isn’t suggests that Manchester is paying Atletico Venezuela in installments which would significantly reduce his budget charge for a year. MLS determines the budget charge of players loaned between clubs with common ownership through a thorough review of all related documents including contracts and transfer agreements.

Herrera can also play the box-to-box role in central midfield. He can keep possession in tight spaces and also shoot from distance. Vieira said Herrera will be a crucial player once he adapts to life in the United States.

“He’s a tactically intelligent midfielder who is strong in the tackle and reads the game well,” Vieira said.“Yangel also has good passing range and spatial awareness, which is crucial for a player in his position. I look forward to welcoming him to our squad after the South American Championships where he’s been playing very well for Venezuela.”

Herrera will join NYCFC in Arizona once his visa is approved. He is likely to leave in May to join Venezuela for the FIFA U20 World Cup in South Korea.