In probably the biggest transfer saga of the offseason, Ezequiel Barco has finally got his move to Atlanta United in a record transfer deal to an MLS club. Independiente was initially reluctant to agree to a transfer, but settled on a $15 million deal, with a 30% sell on clause until December 2019. Atlanta United have shown unprecedented ambition to get Barco, one of South America's hottest young stars.
Barco has seen his stock rise exponentially as he as grown for Independiente in Argentina. He was part of the Independiente system as a youngster, impressing for each of the teams as he grew up. Atlanta has astoundedly beat out Atletico Madrid, a prominent Portuguese club, and other Spanish clubs in a big statement not just for Atlanta United, but Major League Soccer as a whole.
South American influence
Tata Martino has been an obvious attraction for South American players, with Atlanta United securing notable talents like Hector Villalba, Yamil Asad, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, and of course, Miguel Almiron. In Almiron's recent article in The Player's Tribune, he talked about how Tata was revered in Paraguay and the rest of South America.
This transfer is undoubtedly a coup for Atlanta United, along with the acquisition of Darlington Nagbe from the Portland Timbers. The hype for Ezequiel Barco is astounding, and all signs point to Barco being a star for the Five Stripes.