It seems silly to even write. To have to acknowledge what everyone should agree would be the single most dumb move a team could make. Yet, here we are, having to talk about the long-going whispers. The rumblings, the smoke that precedes fire, that LAFC could very well be willing and ready to deal current leading goal-scorer Cristian “Chicho” Arango.
Normally, rumors and hearsay have no place here, however this is different. This isn't some random Twitter account looking to fool people on a fake scoop. This is a rumor that has been whispered about for months now, and then amplified by MLS commentator Taylor Twellman, who has mentioned during several LAFC broadcasts on ESPN that the team could be dealing the Colombian forward soon. Not one to speak publicly, let alone national television broadcasts, Twellman dropped a bomb in saying it not just once, but pretty much every time he's on an LAFC match lately. Which of course, got us scratching our heads because Arango hasn't just been one of the best players as of late, he has been the best. And it's not even really close.
Since his arrival to the MLS in 2021, Arango has featured in just 38 matches, making 30 starts, but has already tallied a whopping 23 goals. He also has five assists, showing he's not all about himself. This season alone, he’s already bagged nine goals in just 15 starts, having scored in seven of his last eight appearances.
LAFC have been back to their vintage ways as of late, scoring in bunches, but even still, of the team's last 12 goals, Arango has scored five of them himself. Goals in matches like the 3-2 win over rivals LA Galaxy, a goal in the 2-1 win on the road against Nashville, and recently the go-ahead goal in the team’s 2-1 win against Sporting KC. Take away his goals, and the team's record looks a lot different, and considering he tends to ink his name on the scoresheet first, who knows how many wins he's ignited with his scoring ability.
Yes, the arrivals of players like Gareth Bale — to say nothing of what sounds like FIFA fever dream rumors heard in regards to a Luis Suarez arrival — are great but it’s most important to not just throw away existing chemistry or to throw away much-needed production. Bale has yet to test himself against some of LAFC’s tougher opponents, one such he will meet this weekend when the team host the Seattle Sounders. Not to mention, the new guys might need some time to settle in.
You're also subjecting yourself to a lot of hope. Hoping the new arrivals provide consistently enough to win matches, hoping the holes left by those departing aren't too difficult to fill. With Arango you have a more than proven commodity. You have proven production, and you have a guy who's proven he can put this team on his back and carry them to victory if the time calls for it. He is everything you could ever want in a forward, and then some. Not to mention, he is only 27-years-old.
It’s clear this is an ‘all-in’ season for the black and gold. Putting aside recent additions of Giorgio Chiellini and Bale, this team added the league-best goalkeeper in Max Crépeau before the season, as well as USMNT regular Kellyn Acosta. This is a club that went all-in on experience and bringing in players who have won it all at the highest level of whatever country they were playing in. A team built on championship mentality to finally get this club over the proverbial hump and securing the much-needed first-ever MLS Cup.
However there’s a fine line between making additions to a squad with the idea to improve it, and trying to overly tinker with something that isn't broken. A screw can only be tightened so much before it starts to crack the wood around it. Sometimes, the best moves you can make is no move at all, and if the question is moving Chicho Arango, one of the best, most consistent players you've had in the club in the last two years, then the answer should be a resounding, and very emphatic, no.
What do you think, should the team move Arango? Leave a comment below!