As the transfer window is fast approaching, so are the rumors about the next player Orlando City will be signing. The most recent rumor circling the interwebs: FC Porto midfielder and 2014 World Cup goalscorer for Colombia, Juan Quintero, is rumored to make the move to MLS, specifically the Sunshine State.
According to a report out of Portugal and one out of Colombia, Quintero has been contacted by Orlando City and is potentially joining the club sometime soon. There have also been conflicting reports out of Turkey, saying that he is being targeted by Göztepe S.K. but at this point, both of these rumors are simply that.
The 24-year-old Colombian native was at one point one of the most promising budding stars in the world, once compared to his national team teammate James Rodriguez by The Guardian back in 2014. That was three years ago. Since then, FC Porto has loaned the midfielder out to two different clubs — Rennes in France and his hometown club, Independiente Medellín in Colombia.
Over his last three seasons in 47 league games between three different teams, he has scored 11 goals and notched 12 assists, most recently having a good season with Medellín, appearing in 15 league games, scoring eight goals and grabbing six assists.
The upside to a player like Quintero is hard to match for an MLS target. At only 24 and at the prime of his career age-wise, he still has a lot to give in terms of production and athletic ability. He’s skilled on the ball and has excellent vision and passing accuracy in the final third. He has a tremendous left foot, often trying a few long shots from outside the box, and is excellent at set pieces.
His drawbacks are few, but could be important for Orlando. While he is more of a set-up man, his finishing has been subpar in recent years and often lacks the ideal finishing touch in front of goal. His biggest drawback is his lack of effort and lack of defensive contribution for the team. An ESPN article recently also mentioned that Quintero’s drive to play professional soccer was low and that at one point he was going to give it up and focus on a music career. Depending on his drive and willingness to contribute to the team will be a big factor if he indeed does end up in Orlando because Jason Kreis is committed to a certain type of work ethic.
As far as how likely the move is for Quintero to come to Orlando, that has yet to be determined. He just happens to be in Florida right now and was recently spotted at Universal Studios on Tuesday, making the timing very interesting, however the reports coming out are just rumors at this point and nothing really definitive.
The MLS transfer window opens on July 10 and from now until then, I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot about this potential transfer. Until then, check out some of his highlights from his most recent season in Colombia.