Orlando City announced this afternoon the loan of striker Matheus Aias to Spanish second division side Real Oviedo. The loan lasts until June 30, 2022 and reportedly gives the Spanish side an option to buy.
Aias officially joined Orlando City on Aug. 22, 2020 from Watford FC. The 24-year-old Brazilian forward was brought in by Oscar Pareja to add another attacking piece. The original signing was a two-and-a-half year contract with an option for an additional year.
In his 11 months at the club, Aias only made six appearances off the bench with no starts and played 32 minutes. He only appeared for Orlando City in the first two games this season, a 0-0 draw against Atlanta United and a 1-1 draw at Sporting Kansas City. His lone goal for the club came on Oct. 28, 2020, a second-half injury time goal in a 4-1 win over Atlanta United at Exploria Stadium.
“Very excited about the opportunity to play for a great club,” Aias said in Spanish through his new club. “I hope I can do a great job with this shirt that has so much history and tradition.”
Given his lack of playing time in 2020, The Mane Land staff gave Aias an incomplete grade in 2020. Our Michael Citro wrote:
From what our sources have told us, Aias was expected to come to Orlando in the off-season after 2020, but the opportunity came to get him earlier and the club took it. Aias will almost certainly be a bigger contributor in 2021 after having a chance to go through preseason with his teammates. He’s a young and somewhat raw striker but he has potential. I would look for him to be a bench option who can provide some spot starts when needed next year.
While it looked as though Aias would become a bigger contributor in 2021, that never happened. That’s partially because of the signings of Alexandre Pato and Silvester van der Water, as well as the return of Daryl Dike.
What This Means for Orlando City
The return of Dike and play of Tesho Akindele have left few spots available at the forward position. Pato was injured during the first game of the season but has been training and should be nearing a return. With the lack of playing time and the current roster, there wasn’t much chance for Aias to see the field this year.
Aias is still a relatively young and raw striker with great potential. He could become a goal scorer in the future but that wasn’t going to happen in Orlando this season. This loan should allow him to get some more playing time and continue to develop.