TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Loan
LAFC have sent forward Diego Rossi on loan to Turkish side Fenerbahce, the club announced Wednesday.
A move for Rossi to Europe has long been expected, as the Uruguayan excelled immediately after joining LAFC ahead of their inaugural season as a teenager. He scored LAFC's first-ever MLS goal, the first of his 48 goals across 104 regular-season appearances. He added 21 assists as well.
“This is an exciting next step in Europe for Diego,” LAFC co-president & general manager John Thorrington said in a release. “We are forever grateful to Diego for the way he helped build this club both on and off the field from day one. To see him grow into a great player who will now perform in the Europa League with Fenerbahçe is exciting and shows that our ambition to develop talent is working.”
Rossi was an integral piece of the club's record-breaking 2019 season, winning the Supporters' Shield en route to setting a new league high for points. He then won MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi during a 2020 season that was shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic and helped lead the club to the Concacaf Champions League final in 2020. The winger hasn't quite found his accustomed form in 2021, with a career-low six goals so far after 19 matches. He scored 14 goals in 19 games last year.
If the deal becomes permanent, Rossi will shatter LAFC's transfer record. The move completes a proof of concept the club have long talked about in their preference for acquiring and developing young talent.
Rossi arrived at LAFC as a highly-rated Uruguayan youth international from Peñarol, where he had 13 goals and 11 assists in 51 appearances before his 19th birthday. Despite his consistent success at LAFC, he's still waiting for his senior national team debut. He can play on either wing or through the center, shining as a direct, quick and goal dangerous attacker.
Fenerbahce are one of Turkey's biggest clubs, finishing second in the league last year. They're the in Europa League group stage this season and have several familiar names on their squad, including Mesut Ozil, Enner Valencia and Luiz Gustavo. They've won their three matches in the nascent 2021-22 league campaign thus far.