30 year old winger Tranquillo Barnetta was recently made a Free Agent following a successful season with Bundesliga side Schalke. The veteran is set to be looking for a new team with Real Betis and a couple of Premier League sides chasing his signature. Another side who is reportedly interested in the Swiss international is the Philadelphia Union.
The Union, who recently knocked the New York Red Bulls out of the U.S. Open Cup have been relatively thin when it comes to transfers and don’t have a great track record..especially after the M’bholi scenario. But that all may change if Barnetta pens a deal with the Chester side.
Despite Wenger’s recent improvements, the Union’s wide midfielders have not lived up to the expectation for the most part. Eric Ayuk has been a saving grace and is set to be one of the stars of the future, but with Le Toux in decline and Wenger struggling for the majority of the season, signing a winger of Barnetta’s stature would only do the team good.
If Le Toux and Wenger both fall injured, the Union only really have Ayuk to depend on, they need a fourth winger for depth options, regardless of who it is or what role they play. If the signing was completed however, it opens up some inter team competition for starting spots and could even aid the Union in finally getting some leverage on the trade/transfer market.
Barnetta started 10 of his 22 games this season for the Bundesliga side who also feature youngster Julian Draxler, scoring in three. He also has played in 75 games for Switzerland and competed in the last three world cups. It’s important to have a few older players to tutor the youngsters but also important to make sure that they perform. Considering the Union’s budget, if this move comes off it could be an absolute steal.