MARIETTA, Ga. – Atlanta United’s midfield reinforcement has arrived.
Eric Remedi was greeted pre-sunrise Friday morning by a handful of eagerly-awaiting Atlanta supporters, but perhaps no one is more excited to see the arrival of the Argentine than ATLUTD head coach Tata Martino.
Martino has expressed a desire to see Atlanta fortify central midfield since the team lost one of last season’s key players, Carlos Carmona, to Colo-Colo in Chile. Martino said during the spring transfer window that despite the need, Atlanta would not rush the signing and wanted to ensure the player that eventually came in was of the right profile tactically and technically.
So, who is Eric Remedi, and how will he fit in El Tata’s plans?
“Specifically, he's a pure holding midfielder,” Marino explained through a translator on Friday. “We'll have to see based on the trainings, the amount of time he's spent integrating into the team, and how games are going whether we feel we need him and Jeff [Larentowicz] to play together.”
Upon the announcement of Remedi’s signing, highlight videos compiled and released by the club on social media illustrated Remedi’s long-range passing as one of the focal points of his game. But interestingly, Martino emphasized Remedi’s defensive strengths, referring to him as la contención, or, “the containment.” Martino will rely on Remedi to help shield the back four and give Atlanta more strength in a key area of the pitch.
How quickly the ex-Banfield player can help the team is another question. Martino explained that he will not rush Remedi into the matchday squad just for the sake of it, and probably wouldn’t start working with his teammates until training resumes next week.
Larentowicz, his soon-to-be midfield partner, said that coming to a new team in the middle of the season is not easy, but that the Five Stripes are well-suited to welcome an Argentine like Remedi.
"It's difficult, it's not like he's coming here from Kansas City, either. He's coming from another country, another culture, another language. Luckily for him, we've got plenty of people from within his culture to make him feel comfortable,” said Larentowicz. “Off the field, getting your bearings in a new city and a new culture is the hardest thing, but we've got plenty of people in the building that can help him handle that.”
How quickly Remedi settles off the pitch may perhaps be one of the determining factors regarding his productivity on it. Martino said he’s confident in the quality of the player and is certain that the move can only help Atlanta United’s push for silverware this season.
“We understand that we're bringing in a very good player from the Argentine league,” he said, “and over this last stretch of the season, I think he's going to be very helpful for us.”