On Sunday morning, New York City FC announced the signing of first-ever Young Designated Player, Jesús Medina. The 20-year-old is quite the opposite of the usual player you'd expect NYCFC to hand a DP contract to. Big names like David Villa, Andrea Pirlo, and Frank Lampard have all had the DP tag as well as Maxi Moralez who was 30-years-old at the time of his first MLS appearance.
For the first time, New York City has given a Designated Player contract to a young player with no European experience. Perhaps Atlanta United's inaugural season approach to signing young DPs will influence more club's decisions in 2018 and beyond.
Jesús Medina has signed a four-year contract with NYCFC despite popular belief that he'd sign with City Football Group partners Manchester City before joining NYCFC on a loan deal. Medina joins from Club Libertad after helping the club reach the Copa Sudamericana semifinals in 2017.
Who is Jesús Medina?
Jesus Medina is a young Paraguayan international who made his professional debut at his 15 years of age for Club Libertad. Despite being just 20 years of age the attacking player has years of experience as well as five Paraguayan Championship medals.
Medina can play as either an attacking midfielder underneath David Villa or as a winger. With Maxi Moralez currently patrolling the number 10 position and Jack Harrison unlikely to be removed off the right wing, it is probable that NYCFC fans will see at least a little bit of Jesus Medina at left wing next season.
Medina said, "It’s a unique feeling, I’ve always wanted to play at a grand club like New York City FC who are doing great things and it’s a privilege to be here."
He went on to say, "My first thought when I heard of the interest was that it was a great club, an important club in the United States - it’s a great feeling. Claudio Reyna talked to me and said wonderful things about the club and the league. I then made the decision to go over there to keep growing as a player and as a person."
Claudio Reyna commented on the signing saying "Jesus is a talented attacking player who can play as a winger or number 10 and will fit really well into our system and style of play. He is a left-footed technical player with a quick turn of pace, who can score and create goals for his teammates. Jesus has many exciting qualities and combined with his work ethic will be a great addition to our club."
New York City FC manager Patrick Vieira said "We are really delighted that we have managed to bring Jesus to the football club because we believe that he’s a special talent. We don’t look at the age when we identify the players we want to bring to this football club, we just look at talent."
Quotes via NYCFC.com