Queens, NY – Multiple sources are reporting that the New York Red Bulls have secured a loan agreement with Southampton FC for the services of 22-year-old winger Josh Sims.
Sims has been in the Southampton academy system since 2011 and signed his first professional contract at just 17 years old. He is valued around $2-Million by Transfermarkt.com and has been deployed primarily on the Right Wing most of his career, but can also play out wide on the left. He will occupy a “Young Designated Player” spot on the RBNY roster.
— New York Red Bulls (@NewYorkRedBulls) August 8, 2019
Sims was promoted to Southampton’s first team in 2016 and has since made 26 appearances for the club. After tallying three assists in just 5 appearances for Southampton’s reserve side in 2017-18, Sims was sent on loan to Reading FC in the EFL Championship for the 2018-19 season. Sims contributed three goals and four assists in 18 appearances for the club before being recalled by Southampton to finish out the season under new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, formally of RB Leipzig. Sims impressed enough to feature in seven of Southampton’s final nine matches (5 starts, 2 substitute appearances) while fighting off relegation.
Sims is a youth international for England, most recently playing in U-23 tournament in Toulon earlier this year where he made four appearances for the Three Lions. After winning the Toulon tournament in 2018, England were disappointingly eliminated in the Group Stages this year.
There is limited game footage available, but Sims’ playing style seems to be a good fit for the Red Bulls pressing system – the same one used by Hasenhuttl at RB Leipzig and Southampton which should make for a smooth transition into the RBNY first team.
— New York Red Bulls (@NewYorkRedBulls) August 7, 2019
Sims is known to have a high motor and possesses tons of pace, something RBNY is lacking at the moment. Sims is very good with the ball at his feet in open space, has decent crossing ability and excels on the counter attack. He is not a prolific goal scorer, but is very direct and routinely attacks isolated defenders on the wing. His best attribute seems to be winning fouls around the 18-yard box, leading to coveted set piece opportunities.
Red Bulls manager Chris Armas had told media that the club was looking for immediate help, not depth guys during this transfer window. Therefore, all signs point to Sims supplanting Alex Muyl as the club’s starting Right Winger for the rest of the season. As a result of this move, RBNY sent winger Derrick Etienne Jr. out on loan to FC Cincinnati in hopes of getting regular minutes for the young Haitian international.
There has been no mention of a buy option at the end of the loan contract, so it’s safe to say that this move is simply a short-term fix aimed at bolstering RBNY’s chances at winning that ever elusive MLS Cup trophy.