We already reported this news earlier this month on The Stoppage Time, but Nigel de Jong, as you already know, has signed with Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy. The 31-year old Dutchman completes his move from A.C. Milan and is ready to fix the issues regarding the insipid defense that marred their attempts at winning the Race To Seis.
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) February 3, 2016
“The process started a couple of months ago when I was contacted by my agent who told me that the Galaxy were interested. It sounded good,” De Jong told LA Galaxy Insider’s Adam Serrano. “I knew that it was going to be a complicated deal because I had just renewed my contract with AC Milan, but I was interested from the start. We worked on the deal because obviously with my career situation, I wasn’t playing.
“I thought that it would be the perfect time for me to go to the States because of my age. Instead of being a little bit older, I’ll be heading over in the best part of my career. That’s when I decided that I wanted to go to the Galaxy.
“The LA Galaxy are the Real Madrid or FC Barcelona of the United States. They’re always expected to win especially after the way last year ended; they want to win the MLS Cup again. I know that coming into this team; I know what kind of pressure is on the team, the players, and the organization. I have no problem with that. That’s the pressure that exists because the club is so big. The main thing now is to fit into the team as quick as possible, so that we can move forward with each other.”
“I think Nigel brings us a very experienced player in the center of midfield. He’s a player whose qualities will help the players around him,” said Arena. “Specifically with Gerrard, Keane, [Sebastian] Lletget, [Giovani] Dos Santos and [Gyasi] Zardes will be playing ahead of him. He’s an outstanding defensive midfielder. He has great mobility and can obviously win tackles and distribute the ball quickly. He’s really going to complement the players ahead of him.”
“[De Jong is] an important piece to the team,” LA assistant manager Dave Sarachan told MLSsoccer.com’s Scott French. “We haven’t had a true guy like him [in central midfield] in years, where you count on him to be disciplined as a holding guy, cleaning up things centrally.
“I just think that’s going to be an important asset within our team, to allow others to sort of do what they do knowing that you have a guy like him that can help clean up on the defensive end.”