New York City FC believes it’s found its next big-time striker in Brazilian stud Héber Araujo dos Santos.
After months of long research, New York City FC has finally found its forward. David Villa’s farewell had left a significant gap within the team. In addition to losing a great leader even in the locker room, the team found itself without a natural striker.
Initially, New York City FC seemed not to want to look for an N.9. Sporting director Claudio Reyna and coach Domenec Torrent were geared to changing the team’s structure, playing with a light attack. The arrival of Alexandru Mitrita had confirmed these sensations, but also in the preseason, the team showed great difficulties in finding the way of scoring.
It is no coincidence that in the first three games of the MLS played by New York City FC the goals came from Alex Ring (2), Ofori, and in the last match from Mitrita, the only striker to have found the goal. This aspect has not clearly escaped Domenec Torrent, who knows his team well by seeing his players in training every day.
Torrent declared it above all after the draws against Orlando City and D.C. United. Indeed, Torrent had become unbalanced saying that the new striker would arrive in the following weeks. It was given for sure the arrival of an N.9 and so it was.
Indeed, Héber Araújo dos Santos is officially a new player of NYCFC. The Brazilian striker has joined the Club from Croatian side HNK Rijeka. Héber has played with Rijeka since 2017. In his first season, he scored 25 goals in 38 appearances. This season, the goals scored are only 10, but Héber has been stationary since December due to an injury that did not allow him to play.
New York City FC announced his arrival and immediately the player released his first interview published on the club’s official website:
“I’m feeling super motivated for this new challenge in my life. I hope to reach great things with my new teammates for this Club. When they showed me the project and what they plan to reach, those were the fundamental points that helped my decision to come to NYCFC. I saw the project and the whole structure, videos about the league and the city, these were all very important aspects. I’m sure it will be an amazing step in my career.”
It is clear that Torrent will now have to change the team’s structure again. The arrival of the Brazilian striker forces the coach of the Blues to review the team’s style of play. It is likely that Héber may be supported by Alexandru Mitrita and Maxi Moralez. But it won’t be a simple choice for Domenec Torrent who can also count on other important players like Jonathan Lewis and Jesus Medina.
Torrent will have to find the right balance to bring the team not only to make the best of Héber’s features, but also to finally win again. In fact, in the first three games, New York City FC won three points in three draws and only one striker, Mitrita, managed to score.
In any event, Domenec Torrent has an extra striker to solve the goal problem and return to winning.