David Arshakyan is finally here!
Remember him? He’s this guy.
The Armenian international comes to the team at a strange time. A couple weeks ago, the fans would’ve begged to see ANYONE new to try and ignite some semblance of dangerous soccer. But there is no doubt the Fire is playing their best soccer of the season right now and a new addition has the potential to disrupt that flow.
Much of the recent success can be attributed to the chemistry that has developed between the attacking trio of David Accam, Michael de Leeuw and Luis Solignac. So where does Arshakyan fit in?
For me, Arshakyan’s addition is very exciting at this point in the season. If he is able to start Saturday, I say do it. But he will likely come off the bench.
There reason I would be completely comfortable with Arshakyan slotting in right away is because the key to the new found attacking success really comes from de Leeuw being able to play further back. Solignac just happens to be the man who allowed that to happen. Replacing Solignac with Arshakyan should not be detrimental and should in fact be a boost.
This offense does not click when it is just Accam and de Leeuw. That third element is very important and Solignac has done a very good job in providing that dimension to the offense. I have been pleasantly surprised with Solignac’s contributions and am not calling for him to lose his place, but this team has put much more stock in Arshakyan.
The 6’ 4”, 190-pound target man was signed to a two-year deal with options for a third and fourth season. That makes me think the Fire see a lot in Arshakyan and want him to be a part of any future success.
If the team was in a place where they were realistically challenging for a playoff spot, I would maybe be more hesitant to bring a new face into the fold in a big way at the risk of losing the new-found chemistry that has led to some good soccer. But this team is not making the playoffs.
The goal this year still needs to be seeing as many players as possible to evaluate what you could have moving forward. It is why the loans of Collin Fernandez and Alex Morrell is still so frustrating. Sure, Arturo Alvarez and John Goossens have been great lately, but development for the future is the No. 1 priority at this point.
At only 21 years old, Arshakyan could be a foundational piece moving forward. He had a tremendous, albeit short, career with FK Trakai in the Lithuanian top flight. In 2015, Arshakyan scored 25 goals in 34 games while he has had a bright start to 2016 scoring nine goals in 18 matches. I would gladly take a goal every other game.
With all that said, he could be a bust.
Either way, the sooner I see Arshakyan the better. How and when would you like to see him deployed in the Fire attack?