If you listened to some of the things Jason Kreis said about Xavi on Wednesday, you would think the Barcelona midfielder was an absolute lock to join New York City FC. Kreis called himself a big fan of Xavi, and said the Spaniard is one of the best players in the history of the game.
What Kreis didn’t say was that he was signing Xavi, or that it would even make sense for NYCFC to bring in the 2010 World Cup winner given the fact NYCFC already has attacking stars David Villa and Frank Lampard on the books.
“I’m split. I’m on the fence,” Kreis said of the possibility of signing Xavi. “I’m a huge fan of Xavi Hernandez. I think he would be a huge player in this league. No doubt about it. But positionally, I don’t think it makes the best sense and the most sense.”
“This is always difficult because when you think about a player like Xavi Hernandez, for me, one of the best players in the world ever,” Kreis added. “You say to yourself on one side there’s no doubt that a player like that will be great at New York City. But when you look at it from another view and say you only got three of these (designated player slots), and you already got another one that plays in the midfield and you got a third one in David Villa, whose all relative age are getting up there, you start to think, maybe not.”
Persistent rumors have linked Xavi to a summer move from Barcelona to New York City, but Kreis’ comments about already having two older designated players seem to support the belief that NYCFC wants to use its remaining DP slot on a younger player.
Kreis’ comments about Xavi not necessarily making sense for NYCFC might sound crazy, but the reality is NYCFC will already boast one of the strongest central midfields in the league once Lampard arrives and joins Mix Diskerud and Ned Grabavoy. Adding another top-end forward or a center back to fill the team’s lone remaining designated player slot could make more sense.
That doesn’t mean NYCFC won’t sign him. Kreis stopped short of saying signing Xavi would never happen.
One NYCFC player who acknowledged loving the idea of playing with Xavi is his former Barcelona teammate and fellow World Cup winner David Villa.
“Xavi would be a good fit in any league, in any team. He’s a world-class player, and anybody from MLS or from this team who likes soccer would receive him with open arms,” Villa said Wednesday. “So I just hope that he would come and we would ask him to be a part of the team.
“But you know you can have many wishes and many hopes in life and know those dreams are not going to come true,” Villa added. “It’s something that is not in my hands. I can just say that I hope he would come here and that would be a pleasure to have him. He’s a great friend, he’s a great player and a great teammate.”