Josef Martinez is arguably the greatest striker in MLS history. When he tore his ACL in the season opener against Nashville SC, Atlanta United was faced with an urgent need to replace him or else see their entire season go down the tubes. According to Marca, they have identified Carlos Bacca as a potential replacement for their star man.
As we’re all well aware, Bacca has basically vanished from the rotation since we acquired Paco Alcacer. Even if Paco were to sit out a game at this point, we would most likely move Gerard to the middle of the attack and start Chukwueze before putting Bacca out on the pitch. Bacca is, in my estimation, pretty much done as a La Liga quality striker and he is one of the highest paid members of the squad. I would absolutely bite Atlanta’s hand off even if there were virtually no fee involved and they were simply willing to take over his wages.
Even if Paco were to go down long term, we could always promote Fer Nino or Mujica for the remainder of the season. I see no reason whatsoever for the club to cling to Bacca at this juncture in his career. The negotiations here should be really simple, if Atlanta is willing to take him, we should let him go. MLS is an interesting league where the money available outstrips their ability to recruit top talent, so an overpaid aging star like Bacca is far easier for them to take on than it would be most other places on earth.
This is a deal that should be done without hesitation by Villarreal.