What to expect from new Houston Dynamo attacker Mateo Bajamich

Mateo Bajamich - Houston Dynamo - reported transfer target

When Argentine winger Mateo Bajamich is available for selection, Houston Dynamo head coach Tab Ramos said he's looking forward to integrating a player they believe has tons of upside.

Bajamich was announced as the Dynamo's latest signing Monday after weeks of reports linking him with a move from Instituto in Argentina, where the 21-year-old had played since 2018, scoring 10 goals and tallying six assists in 28 matches. Regarding where he sees Bajamich slotting in on the field, Ramos gave a snapshot.

"He's a good player 1-v-1. He can break a defense down, he's a hard worker up and down the line," Ramos said. "So I think he brings a lot of qualities that will help the team get better.

"For Instituto he's been playing mostly on the right side, let's say like a No. 7. I've spoken with Mateo myself about the possibility that he'll play as a withdrawn striker or even as a No. 9. But he's coming here mostly to be playing on the right side. That's where he plays best, that's where he's most comfortable. But he seems to one of those players who's willing to play wherever the coach puts him and it's that type of demeanor that you want from a player."

Bajamich fits the profile of young players the Dynamo are trying to build around, with established pedigree, but years in front of him to tap into his potential. That profile is in their coach's wheelhouse, with Ramos the longtime US U-20 national team coach before joining Houston.

"We have been trying to sign young players with a lot of potential, I think there's no secret there, but I think a lot of clubs try to do that," Ramos said. "There's very few clubs in the league that can afford just to get guys, let's say in their prime, to come in and try to win the league right away. Our goal doesn't change. Like I said from the beginning, our goal is to make the playoffs so that we can win the league. That's going to be the goal every year. How we go about it may be a little different than other clubs, and I think the youth that Mateo brings to the club is important."

With the departure of Alberth Elis to Portugal's Boavista FC, the Dynamo could use Bajamich as soon as possible. But given the Visa hurdles and quarantine protocols the player has to go through before he can join the club, Ramos said it's likely to be at least a couple of weeks before he can join the club.

In the meantime, Houston find themselves two points below the playoff line in the Western Conference, with a chance to cover ground when they take on FC Dallas on Wednesday (8 pm ET  | MLS LIVE on ESPN+; DAZN in Canada).

"We have to consider that by the time his Visa situation is cleared, there's going to be the quarantine period," Ramos said. "There's only about five weeks left in the regular season for us. So when you consider those things I think you're looking at Mateo being a contributor a little bit more down the road.

"Obviously we're all hoping as soon as possible, but I think as soon as possible may be -- and I'm going to take a guess, if the Visa process goes quickly, let's say it's a week -- and then another 10 days after that before he can quarantine, I'm thinking at the very least it would be two weeks, possibly three weeks before he can join the team."