Another American player is headed to the Netherlands. Heracles Almelo announced the signing of Luca de la Torre on a free transfer. The contract is for two years with the option for a third. De la Torre was recently on the books at Fulham.
“This club likes to play attractive football,” he told Heracles’ official website. “I think that fits well with my technical style of playing. I also had good discussions about this with trainer Frank Wormuth and others. He expressed confidence. I can’t wait to show what I have at home.”
Heracles technical director Tim Gillissen described de la Torre as “a versatile player who has good technique and the necessary creativity” and capable of playing as a winger and an attacking midfielder. The Heraclieden finished the abandoned 2019-2020 Eredivisie season in eighth place with 36 points from 26 matches. The club’s next fixture is a friendly against PEC Zwolle on August 9th.
De la Torre joined the Fulham academy in 2013, making his professional debut in 2016. He made 14 total appearances with the first team but spent most of his time with the reserve side. This past season, he played in two EFL Championship matches and scored five goals in nine Premier League 2 appearances. The California native was linked with a move to Djurgården during the winter transfer window and, according to his agent, “had interest from another Championship club.”
De la Torre was a mainstay with the U.S. youth national team setup, frequently playing with the U-17 and U-20 sides. His standout performance in the 2017 U-20 World Cup earned rave reviews. He made his senior international debut in a 2018 friendly against Ireland.
At 22, de la Torre is at a delicate point in his career. Production and results now take priority over talent and potential. If he is going to develop into a top professional, he can no longer wither away in the reserves. The Eredivisie has a reputation for developing and showcasing players, and this is a move that de la Torre likely should have made a long time ago. He has the ability to contribute to the national team, but securing regular first team minutes is a necessity before receiving call-ups.
Is this the right move for Luca de la Torre? Let us know in the comment section.