Darwin Machis, ‘Cabecita’ Rodriguez and Byron Castillo lead list of top Liga MX summer transfers
It’s still early days in Liga MX’s summer transfer window, but we’ve already seen a number of eye-catching moves into and within Mexico’s top flight. Ahead of the start of the 2022 Apertura on July 1, a number of clubs have made quick work of bringing in vital reinforcements.
Although some fans have been a little frustrated with a lack of deals for global superstars such as Luuk de Jong, Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez, who were all recently rumored to be looking at Liga MX, there’s still plenty of time to land more deals for marquee names this summer. As for those trades that have already been made, here’s a list of the top Liga MX transfers (so far and in no specific order) for incoming players and trades within the league.
Once the LaLiga season wrapped up and Granada found themselves relegated, FC Juarez wasted no time bringing over Machis from the Spanish club. The 29-year-old forward, who is a clever and quick dribbler with a powerful shot, is an exceptional signing for the bordertown club that was reportedly competing with larger Liga MX teams for the Venezueala international.
Juarez, humbled after paying an 80 million pesos ($3.49 million USD) fee for finishing last in the Liga MX coefficient table for the 2021-22 season, made a statement after adding Machis and another high-profile name on this list. Will more follow?
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When Pumas’ paper-thin roster exceeded expectations last season through a run to the Liga MX playoffs and the final of the 2022 CONCACAF Champions League, many wondered what could have been achieved if they had another much-needed attacker or two available.
In steps Del Prete, an experienced 26-year-old Argentine striker who was the joint-third top goal scorer in the 2021 Copa Sudamericana. Well rounded in the attack but with a bit more pace than Pumas No. 9 Juan Dinenno, the forward from Estudiantes de La Plata could become an effective partner in the frontline with Dinenno — or perhaps even a replacement if the 27-year-old leaves.
Forget the inconsequential “controversy” of Castillo being fielded as an eligible Ecuador player during World Cup qualifying — despite Chile’s complaints — instead focus on the 23-year-old’s ability to potentially become one of the signings of the Liga MX season.
Agile, energetic and defensively solid, the promising youngster from Barcelona de Ecuador finished in the Best XI of the 2021 Copa Libertadores. He’ll likely be determined to shine once again this season before his national team’s run in the World Cup.
Regardless of the fact that Talavera will be turning 40 this summer, the Mexican veteran and former Pumas captain remains as one of the elite goalkeepers in Liga MX and arguably the most skillful in the air. Talavera will be an immediate leader in the locker room, and as seen throughout the past several years, he’s able to also single-handedly carry his squad when needed.
Under the guidance of new manager Hernan Cristante, FC Juarez could turn into an unexpected dark horse after finishing last in the table just a couple of months ago.
On Tuesday, America made headlines across the Mexican soccer world when they announced that Jonathan “Cabecita” Rodriguez would be joining the squad. Signing Liga MX’s Balon de Oro winner from the 2020-21 season is noteworthy in itself, but the fact that the Uruguay forward once played for crosstown rivals Cruz Azul made it even more of a footballing coup.
At the peak of his abilities, there are no players in Liga MX more explosive or dangerous in the build-up of an attack than Cabecita, who will turn 29 in July. That said, there will be questions about the player that recently finished a six-month stay in Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nassr with only one goal through eight appearances.
even if El Tri manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino has yet to be convinced, there’s a lot to like about Mozo. Proactive with his lively runs and dribbles down the right flank, the adventurous 25-year-old full-back is one of the more thrilling players to watch in Liga MX.
Leaving Pumas after being included in the Best XI of the 2022 CONCACAF Champions League tournament, Mozo will be a crucial piece of a Chivas puzzle that is in a new era under manager Ricardo Cadena. The only downside to the right-back is that sometimes he’s a little too eager to leave his defensive area and leave space open for the opposition…
Volpi is one of several signings that Toluca have already made this summer, but there’s no denying that he could end up being the most important. Before a three-year run with Sao Paulo, the Brazilian established himself as one of the best shot-stoppers in Liga MX with Queretaro from 2015 to 2019.
Still just 31 years old, the goalkeeper has plenty of gas left in the tank and will probably not need much of an adjustment period after previously thriving with Queretaro and helping them win a Copa MX title. With Sao Paulo, Volpi was also a key figure in his side’s run towards a Campeonato Paulista championship in 2021.
Only Tigres superstar Andre-Pierre Gignac scored more goals in the 2022 Clausura regular season than Aguirre. With Necaxa, the 27-year-old Uruguayan striker made a name for himself as a clinical finisher through 10 goals in his past 15 appearances.
Decisiveness in the final third hasn’t been ideal for Monterrey in the past few seasons, likely leading to them taking a chance on Aguirre. With a double threat of powerful headers and left-footed shots, and plenty of talented Monterrey playmakers now in support, it wouldn’t be a shock if Aguirre surpasses Gignac and all others in the goal-scoring race for the Apertura tournament.