Chicago Fire have announced the departure of Argentine forward Ignacio Aliseda to Swiss side FC Lugano.
The 21-year-old joined Chicago from Defensa y Justicia in February 2020 in a four-year deal. However, he struggled to adjust to life in MLS, scoring just five goals and only registering three assists in 43 appearances.
Aliseda - who has two caps to his name for Argentina at under-23 level - will now join FC Lugano, who were bought by Fire owner Joe Mansueto in August, upon the opening of the January window. He will provide much-needed reinforcements to Mattia Croci-Torti's side, who are third in the Swiss Super League, seven points adrift of leaders FC Zurich after 17 games.
Sources tell 90min that Aliseda's initial contract in Switzerland will run until 2025 and that he was interested in the opportunity to move to Europe.
The same source informed us that the Fire still believe in his potential enough that keeping him within the Fire-Lugan system was a smart move to protect the club's investment.
“After many discussions with Ignacio, we were all in agreement that this was the right time for a new challenge,” said Fire sporting director Georg Heitz in an official club press release.
“This move allows Ignacio to continue his development in a competitive European league, while providing us with more roster flexibility going into the 2022 MLS season. On behalf of the Fire, I’d like to thank Ignacio for his contributions over the last two seasons. We wish him all the best as he begins this exciting new chapter with our partner Club, FC Lugano.”
Aliseda's departure opens up a second Designated Player spot after Robert Beric also left at the end of the 2021 season, giving new head coach Ezra Hendrickson plenty of freedom when constructing Chicago's roster ahead of his first campaign in charge.