Another American player might be heading to Wales.
According to Doug McIntyre of Yahoo Sports, Paul Arriola is “drawing serious interest” from Swansea City. The English championship club shares two owners with his current team, D.C. United. Tom Bogert of MLSSoccer.com provided more details, writing that “any potential move would likely be a loan” and include an option to buy.
According to MLSSoccer.com, the winger is “expected to be granted a work permit” and would likely be deployed as a wingback in the club’s up-tempo 3-5-2 formation. Swansea is currently in second place in the Championship with 46 points from 24 matches, in line for an automatic promotion spot. The Swans are also reportedly acquiring fellow national team member Jordan Morris on loan.
Arriola began his professional career with Club Tijuana in Liga MX. He joined D.C. United in 2017 and has scored 14 goals in 72 total appearances. This past season was hampered by a torn ACL suffered during the preseason. In November, the 25-year-old made his return to the field during the last match of the season.
After featuring at the youth international level, Arriola made his United States Men’s National Team debut in 2016. The Chula Vista, California native has earned 34 caps and scored six goals. He’s been a favorite of national team manager Gregg Berhalter, making 16 appearances during his tenure.
The move to Swansea would be beneficial for several reasons. Arriola is in need of playing time following his injury, registering only 21 MLS minutes in 2020. The start date of the next domestic season remains in question, which would further extend his layoff. Joining a club that appears on a direct trajectory to the Premier League provides the opportunity and challenge to compete at a higher level, ideally improving his game. With the national team about to embark on a pivot year and begin qualifying, he needs to be in the best possible club situation amidst a growing number of emerging young talents.
Is this a good move for Arriola? Let us know in the comment section.