Photo by ISIphotos.com
Jozy Altidore left. So did Brad Guzan. Juan Toja could be leaving soon too, as could Kenny Cooper.
As the list of MLS players set to make moves to Europe continues to grow, one name not on that list is Taylor Twellman, the New England Revolution striker who had his bid for a multi-million dollar move to Preston North End rejected last winter.
Preston North End is still interested in Twellman, and sources tell me the English club would be willing to at the very least match the $3 million offer it made in the winter for Twellman. No offer is going to be made though as long as it looks like the Revs and MLS won’t realistically consider a bid.
When New England turned down the offer for Twellman in the winter it was easy to understand. Twellman had been the focal point of the Revs offense for years, so replacing him seemed impossible. The only problem is New England has essentially done just that this season, posting the best record in MLS despite the fact that Twellman has played just three games this season (and started none) due to an assortment of injuries.
So the question is a simple one. Should New England let Twellman go and sell him to Preston?
The simple answer, at least as far as the Revs are concerned, is no.
You could argue that situations have changed since the Revs turned down Preston last winter. New England now boasts a forward stable including Adam Cristman, Kheli Dube and Kenny Mansally, who have all looked good, with Cristman and Dube being real revelations this year. With Pat Noonan ready to return to MLS, New England could conceivably sign Noonan to replace Twellman (though I’m hearing Noonan isn’t in a hurry to come back to play for the Revs).
That said, you can’t argue with the fact that Twellman still has two more years on his current deal after this season, and you also can’t argue that for all the success New England has enjoyed this season none of its other forwards are playoff tested the way Twellman is. With the hunt for that first MLS Cup still under way, the Revs probably aren’t in a rush to do anything that might make a return trip to the final (and first victory in the final) tougher.
The Revs were probably hoping Twellman’s European aspirations would eventually find their way to the backburner in the same way Shalrie Joseph’s did. The only problem is Twellman has been injured most of the season and has had plenty of time to think about the ‘what-if.’ Couple that with the seeming ease that a player like Kenny Cooper has had with getting into position to make a transfer move and you have a situation that has to be grating on Twellman.
Does Twellman still want to leave? You can bet your British Pound on that one. He is 28 years old and still sees this as his last chance to make a move to a quality European league. While I won’t go as far as Sepp Blatter and call the situation a form of slavery (like Blatter did when discussing Manchester United’s unwillingness to sell Cristiano Ronaldo) I can understand Twellman’s frustration.
Which brings us back to the original question. Should New England sell Taylor Twellman?
Share your thoughts below.