Cristian Tello an 'obvious fit' for LAFC, says GM John Thorrington

Chris Smith
Tello is ready for action.
Tello is ready for action. / Angel Martinez/GettyImages

As if their summer recruitment wasn't impressive enough, LAFC's late capture of Cristian Tello makes them an even more terrifying prospect heading into the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Tello arrived on a free transfer shortly before the MLS roster freeze on September 2 following a five-year spell with La Liga side Real Betis. Of course, Tello cut his teeth at FC Barcelona and also lists the likes of Porto and Fiorentina on his résumé.

The 31-year-old winger will face serious competition for minutes at Banc of California Stadium, with the likes of Gareth Bale, Carlos Vela, Kwadwo Opoku, and Cristian Arango all battling for a place in LAFC's forward line.

But given his talent, style, and pedigree, Tello might just be the perfect late-season addition to a side chasing Supporters' Shield and MLS Cup glory.

"With Cristian, it's a fairly obvious fit because of how he plays, where he plays, the places he's played," LAFC co-president and general manager Thorrington said. "There's a lot of overlap in what we try to do."

Tello has been officially cleared to make his debut against FC Dallas this weekend and head coach Steve Cherundolo has confirmed Thorrington's view, with the one-time Spain international already settling in well with his new teammates.

"His integration process has been very, very easy on the field," Cherundolo said. "Now the immigration process is completed, and he can help us in game situations."

The signing of Tello was even more important given LAFC had already let Uruguayan winger Brian Rodriguez leave for Club America. Thorrington confirmed the two deals were dependent on each other.

"We were evaluating whether we were going to sell Brian Rodriguez or not," explained Thorrington. "We were only willing to make certain decisions provided we could do other things. So we moved very quickly with Cristian.

"When you think about principles and style of play and a player's formation, their education, their formation – when it comes to a place like Barcelona – for us it's really appealing."

As mentioned, Tello is going to have to work hard for a place in Cherundolo's starting XI. However, it's a challenge he's already used to during his time playing for some European giants - and one he's relishing.

"It's an important challenge. I'm joining a club that has many top-level players, like all big clubs have," Tello said.

"The goal is to work my hardest so that the coach sees that I'm physically fit and I can take the step into the starting XI and play my part."

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