After a short hiatus, we are happy to resume business as usual here at The Stoppage Time. There have been a few changes since our last update, so let’s dive right in…
Lainez and Ajax nearing a massive deal
The midfielder has taken the hearts of those in Mexico, as he starred for Club América in their historic run to their 13th title. The hype surrounding the 18-year-old came with skepticism but it’s looking increasingly more legitimate with Diego’s impressive form with América in the Liguilla.
During the final against Cruz Azul, it was reported that Diego had a serious offer coming from Ajax. The 2-0 win over the rivals sealed the deal for the CDMX club but may have also been Lainez’s final official game.
There were rumors of a back-and-forth between the Mexican side and the Dutch side on how much would be offered and accepted. However, as of this past week, it was said that Diego’s agent traveled to Holland to finalize a deal with the Champions League side.
Whether or not Diego leaves in the January window or in the summer, the move will be huge for the midfielder. His growth has been impressive and a move to the Dutch side will only accelerate his evolution.
Raúl taking England by storm
Raúl Jiménez joined Wolves with many fans uncertain of his skillset. He was a super-sub (albeit, a great one) at Benfica, and the loan to Wolverhampton would be a major change in environment for the 27-year-old forward. However, in his 21 matches with the club, he has taken the league by storm.
The club has found themselves sitting in the Top 10 of the EPL, as Raúl has come up big. In his short tenure with Wolves, he has contributed to 10 total goals (7 goals, 4 assists). A total, that is, which has been better than some top names in England.
In the FA Cup against Liverpool on Monday, Raúl gave Wolves a 1-0 lead in their eventual 2-1 victory, eliminating the English powerhouse in the competition
It is unsure what will happen with Raúl when this loan is over, but one thing is for sure – if he continues this form, it will catch a lot of attention around the top leagues.
‘Tata’ Martino on his way to take over Mexico
If you’re going to finish a tenure with a club, there’s no better way than to win a title. Argentine manager ‘Tata’ Martino did just that with Atlanta United in front of 71,000 fans. The beloved manager agreed to finish his season with Atlanta United before journeying to Mexico.
Interim coach Ricardo Ferretti didn’t have the best of times with Mexico after the separation from Juan Carlos Osorio. In six matches, Ferretti’s Mexico claimed 1 win, 5 losses, no draws. The combination of Liga MX youngsters and former regulars had fans scratching their heads as to what ‘Tuca’ was trying to accomplish.
Now that Mexico has its new manager, the road to the Gold Cup will begin in March with two matches against Chile and Paraguay. There are also rumors that Mexico will take on the USMNT in Tata’s former home in Atlanta, Georgia.