New York City FC fans can celebrate: the club has finally brought in a striker! The club announced they signed 22-year-old Mounsef Bakrar using the league’s U22 initiative. The new forward’s contract will run until 2026, and there is an option for 2027.
The Algerian player is making the transfer from Nogometni klub Istra 1961, or NK Istra 1961. He made 33 appearances for the Croatian club, where he scored eight goals and had three assists. His time with his former club illuminates the potential of the young striker.
NYCFC’s new signing has the potential to be great
Of course, he is not an established striker, but should be able to contribute for the remainder of the season. Bakrar is used to playing the attacking style of football that NYCFC prefers to play, so it might make the adjustment to his new club a little easier.
Still, the Pigeons really needed a striker that can contribute right away, and score plenty of goals to end the season. Bakrar will not be that player, at least it is unlikely in the 2023 season. At the same time, he is a welcomed addition, for NYCFC needs a striker, no matter where they are in the development process. And clearly, he will be the best option compared to every other player on the roster.
Moreover, Sporting Director David Lee alluded to the fact he was signed for not only his ability right now, but also his potential. He told NYCFC.com the following:
"We are delighted to welcome Mounsef to New York. Mounsef is a talented and dynamic forward who enjoyed a fantastic first season in Europe and we are excited for the impact he will have on our roster, while also adding quality and depth as we enter the latter stages of the season and toward the Playoffs. With Mounsef’s experience at Club level and with the Youth National Team in Algeria, coupled with his experience in Croatia, we believe that the move to Major League Soccer will be an excellent next step in his career. While at only 22-years of age, Mounsef’s best years are ahead of him, we look forward to helping continue his development."- David Lee
When all is said and done, Bakrar might not be the only forward that is brought in this summer. On paper, he is not the striker fans would have wanted, but he can score goals, and this is what NYCFC needs.
In addition, Lee mentioned how he adds the quality and depth to the roster. Does this mean a more established striker is on the way? Time will only tell, but New York City FC has to act fast, for the secondary transfer window is only open until August 2.