LAFC confirmed reports that swirled starting on Sunday, announcing they have transferred midfielder Eduard Atuesta to Brazilian club Palmeiras. While the club’s announcement did not note the transfer fee received, credible reports put it at $4 million to start, with conditions potentially escalating it up to $7 million.
“We are excited for Eduard in the next step of his career,” LAFC Co-President & General Manager John Thorrington said in a team statement. “Since he arrived in our first season, Eduard has been a leader both on and off the field. His contributions in building LAFC have been immense, and we are grateful for how he has represented the Club. Eduard developed into an MLS All-Star and Best XI player in his time in L.A., and it is gratifying to see him move on to perform for a team that won the 2020 and 2021 Copa Libertadores.”
Originally signed for around $1 million in a loan to purchase deal in 2018 from Independiente Medellin, Atuesta was a fixture in the lineup for LAFC all four seasons. An MLS Best XI selection in 2019, he was perennially one of the top two-way midfielders in MLS in his four-year tenure at the club, and was serving as captain by this year.
Palmeiras are coming off back-to-back Copa Libertadores titles, so they are in a good moment and they have been pursuing Atuesta for months. Hopefully this helps him get in the shop window even more for a move to Europe eventually. He’s been a class act throughout his time in Los Angeles.
For LAFC, they make a tidy profit on a sale, which is great, but they will now need to replace a key player. While it’s possible a player like Francisco Ginella could take over Atuesta’s role and grow into being a regular starter and beyond, Atuesta was a special player and he can’t be easily replaced. Can LAFC manage to find the successor in short order?
Best of luck to Eduard on his move to Brazil and beyond.
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