LAFC

LAFC could feel impact of Giorgio Chiellini signing 'five or 10 years' in the future

Chris Smith
Chiellini's benefits to LAFC may be more long term than you think.
Chiellini's benefits to LAFC may be more long term than you think. / Jonathan Moscrop/GettyImages
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It may sound counterproductive, but LAFC's signing of Giorgio Chiellini has been made with long-term benefits in mind.

At 37 years old, the legendary Italian center-back is certainly entering the twilight of his career with Serie A titles and European Championship crowns now behind him.

But in Major League Soccer, Chiellini will find new challenges. Immense travel distances, a condensed schedule, and the Playoff system are just a few things he'll have to get used to.

Perhaps most importantly, Chiellini will now become one of the most influential layers for the team and league he's playing in, with the leadership and experience he can pass on possibly reaping benefits for years to come.

“I think Giorgio coming here will help anybody and I think the most obvious example of that is Mamadou Fall,” LAFC co-president and general manager John Thorrington told MLSsoccer.com. “If you were to tell me that you have a young center back with as much talent and trajectory that Fall is on, and you could pick someone to play alongside him every day to maximize that potential, who would you pick?

"We’ve always been about winning. Part of our model is young players developing and moving on, but Giorgio fits perfectly with that. If I could have hand-picked a player in the world to help players develop, it’s him.”

Both long and short term, the benefits to LAFC signing a player of Chiellini's quality and stature are obvious. But what about the player himself?

According to Thorrington, this signing is a 'mutual fit', with Chiellini desperate to get started.

“The conversations were very straightforward,” he said. “It was around what we felt we needed as a club and what Giorgio’s thoughts were on the next steps of his career. It was very clear early on it wasn’t about finances. It was about a mutual fit.”

Thorrington added: “For a guy who has seen and done everything there is to do – literally – in this game, you can sense his excitement in getting here. He’s in a rush to get here – a guy who played in an Italian Cup final, who just played his last game for Italy yet can’t wait to get here.”

LAFC travel to the Seattle Sounders on Saturday looking to maintain their place at the top of the Supporters' Shield standings.


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