FC Cincinnati have included Brazilian striker Brenner in a new major league milestone … [+]
In a winter when transfers were limited due to the financial constraints caused by COVID-19, FC Cincinnati signed Brazilian distiller. The 21-year-old is moving to the Major League Soccer Club with a $ 15 million transfer.
According to Transfer market, Cincinnati FC are now paying $ 13 million for the São Paulo FC striker. The Brazilian Série A team could earn an additional $ 2 million through performance-based add-ons. São Paulo will also participate in future transfers as they retain 20% of the player’s rights.
Once all of these add-ons are met, Brenner will be the most expensive player to come to MLS from South America. It’s a shame that Martínez currently holds this record; The Argentine joined Atlanta United for $ 15.95 million in 2019.
In a global context, it’s also a counter-trend deal. That winter, the clubs spent € 20 million ($ 22 million) or more just five times –In comparison, European clubs paid EUR 20 million or more 17 times last year. As of the reporting date, there were approximately 1,700 transactions and the total amount of fees paid was just over $ 30 million.
Despite the COVID-19 credit crunch, MLS appears to be bucking the trend. On Friday the league agreed to a new CBA with the MLS Player Association. This new deal runs until 2027 and is a direct response to the pandemic. The league wants to ensure long-term security when no fans are allowed into the stadiums.
On the surface, the league’s CBA negotiations were a response to the industry’s credit crunch. At the same time, many club owners in the league are now ready to open their wallets to attract talent overseas.
Cincinnati FC is a shining example. The club joined MLS in 2019 and had to fight in the top US league both seasons. Part of the problem was a lack of spending. The club never spent more than $ 2 million before adding Brenner on Friday. But Brenner is probably just getting started now as the club are also looking to add former Atlanta star Pity Martínez.
Brenner and Cincinnati FC are, in fact, only part of an overall trend. A number of signings are expected now as the CBA runs with many clubs that were previously cautious, like the Vancouver Whitecaps, which are expected to spend significantly this off-season.
But what about the burner? What can the striker add to a club whose fans crave success? First and foremost, goals. The 21-year-old has scored 17 goals in 33 games in all competitions in the current Brazilian 2020 season.
Brenner is a proven goalscorer, but how does he compare to the current top MLS scorers? (Photo of … [+]
It’s always difficult to compare players across leagues, but if you look at the stats, Brenner compares favorably to last year’s MLS scorers – Diego Rossi, Gyasi Zardes, Raúl Ruidíaz, Robert Berić and Jordan Morris out.
Of the six, Ranger is just behind Rossi from LAFC with 0.59 goals per 90 minutes in 2020 (all statistics from Wyscout). Brenner leads the group with a success rate of 87.29%. Only Ruidíaz comes close with a success rate of 86.65%. It is also noticeable that of the six compared players, Brenner had the fewest touches in the box (3.45 per 90 minutes) – Morris had the most with 5.68 touches.
With an xG of 19.49, Brenner is way ahead of the group of MLS top scorers he is compared to – Rossi led this statistic with 16.58 in the MLS last season. Even more noteworthy, however, is that Brenner surpassed this statistic with a total of 21 goals in 2020.
It remains to be seen how these numbers translate into MLS. While Brazil still ranks slightly ahead of MLS in terms of competitiveness, North America’s front runner has its own challenges in terms of travel, climate differences, and an intense schedule. But despite all that, Cincinnati has undoubtedly landed a star in the Brenner Pass, which could very well change the perception of the league overall and be a sign that something is coming on the transfer market this winter.
Manuel Veth is the editor-in-chief of Futbolgrad network and the Area Manager USA Transfer market. It was also published in the Guardian, Newsweek, Howler. Pro Soccer USA, and several other outlets. Follow him on Twitter: @ ManuelVeth