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Club América: The Diego Lainez Dilemma

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - MAY 5: Diego Lainez of America fights for the ball with Abraham Gonzalez of Pumas during the quarter finals second leg match between America and Pumas UNAM as part of the Torneo Clausura 2018 Liga MX at Azteca Stadium on May 5, 2018 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Juan Carlos Alcantara/Jam Media/Getty Images)

After an exciting World Cup, we are now preparing to get back into the swing of league action. In Liga MX, one of the biggest clubs, Club América has quite a problem on their hands after two starters in Jérémy Ménez and Cecilio Domínguez are going to be out an extended period of time. The main problem, however, is the debacle between Miguel ‘Piojo’ Herrera and youngster Diego Lainez.

As of right now, Diego is not with the club while they tour the US with their warmup games. Miguel Herrera has come out to say that Diego Lainez is not done with his “process” and that he’s not ready to take the field in place of the injured players. Instead, Diego Lainez is training with the U-21 (again), not preparing to make his case in Liga MX.

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The quotes from ‘Piojo’ are infuriating for fans of Club América and Mexico. We saw Diego play in the Toulon tournament and show off a different level of skill against players 3-4 years older than himself, as he ultimately won “Player of the tournament.” There is no doubt that the 18-year-old can handle his own and we have seen him do so in Liga MX and CONCACAF Champions League.

We were in this position in the previous season when Diego was not getting playing time but ‘Piojo’ was forced to throw him in against Toronto FC. In minutes, Diego was taking on defenders, causing havoc for the opposing team. All of us watching were wondering why this kid hasn’t been getting minutes. Diego would go on to set up Oribe Peralta who was taken down in the box for a penalty. It may have all been too late, but we were seeing a kid who wasn’t in over his head.

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Club América has a real problem thanks to having two starters out, especially with Ménéz done for up to 6 months. The whole “process” Miguel ‘Piojo’ Herrera is forcing is absurd. There are young skilled players who do need time to develop but Diego Lainez is not one of them. Moreover, ‘Piojo’ has been using two other young players in Edson Álvarez and Carlos Vargas, so his reasoning isn’t holding water.

The biggest complaint about Club América (along with other teams) is the overuse of foreign players. The two main injuries are to foreign players and América has a Mexican like Diego Lainez ready to go. To not use a gifted player is a serious problem and this will continue to infuriate fans for time to come. We are coming to the point where we might need Diego to accept an offer to go to a different club. If the rumors are/were true about the French sides who would like to sign him after the Toulon tournament, then there may be no better time to get the winger away from Club América’s grasp under ‘Piojo’ Herrera.

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