Many reports have been coming out over the last few days about USMNT midfielder Jermaine Jones possibly coming to an MLS team before the start of the 2014. Schalke announced that Jones would not be traveling with the team to mid season training in the Middle East so that he can focus on trying to secure a transfer to a different team.
I've seen the Twitter chatter from many FC Dallas fans about their desire to have Jermaine Jones play in Hoops this next season. While Jones fills a much needed hole for FCD let me offer up a name that I believe would be a much smarter choice to bring in: Maurice Edu.
Edu moved to Stoke City when Glasgow Rangers fell apart in the summer of 2012 in a move that many thought was a career changer for the young American that would propel him to new heights. Sadly, the opposite was true.
In a year and a half with the Potters Edu has seen the field only once and now can't even break into the 18 man matchday roster. While he did have a successful stint on loan at Turkish side Bursaspor in the first part of 2013, he returned to the Britannia and has languished in the reserve side.
We all know that d-mid, especially a d-mid that can play the 4-4-2 diamond, is something that this team is in great need of. We all hope for the best from Moffat and Luccin but does anyone honestly think they could play as the lone d-mid?
Mo Edu may not be the box-to-box guy many people want as he's not known for his goal scoring prowess, but any Rangers fan can tell you that he can not only be a great setup up guy out of the back, but has the physical presence, size, and skill to be the lone man in front of the backline that FC Dallas have been needing.
Another thing he brings is experience in playing at a higher level.
Yes, you can argue that the SPFL isn't a quality league, but the level of competition was much higher when Rangers were in the top flight. Not to mention the fact that he's played Champions League football and anyone who can play at that level is the type of guy the fans should want.
I think one of the big upsides to bringing in Edu, especially compared to JJ is his age. At 27 (he'll turn 28 in April), Mo is on the right side of 30 for a big, physical player. Yes, he's had some injury issues in the past, but he's a much safer bet than Jones to hold up throughout the season.
Relative Value and Outside Assistance
His age also lends itself the idea of potential resale value.
I know you never want to have to think about selling a player before you even acquire them, but in MLS that option is enticing. Edu is a quality player and if he came back to MLS and really performed well you have to think that Euro clubs may start to pay attention again.
You also have to think that right now his motivation and desire to play regularly is at its peak since returning from Turkey this past summer. A little bit of hustle and desire certainly wouldn't go amiss around the FC Dallas locker room.
The biggest potential hurdle to getting the big guy to Dallas however may be fact that, being only 2 years into a 3 year contract, FC Dallas would have to pony up and pay a transfer fee to Stoke City. I can't imagine it would be some massive amount, but it's probably more than most MLS clubs can afford.
That said, let's not forget that the league stepped up to help Seattle pay the transfer fee to get Clint Dempsey back in the states. Would they do the same to bring another big name American back to the homeland? Is Edu a big enough draw in their eyes, and FCD a big enough club, to warrant paying somewhere (I'm guessing) just south of a million dollars? Transfermarkt.com has his value rated at around $3.5 million but I can't imagine Stoke holds enough value in him to demand that much of a fee.
Edu is the type of high quality player that could come into the starting XI and make an immediate impact in Frisco, and his experience could be incredibly beneficial to young guys like Kellyn Acosta, who has made it known that he wants to eventually play in the middle of the midfield.
What do you guys think? Would you rather have Edu or Jones in the midfield in Frisco next season?