LAFC boss believes ‘sky is the limit’ for Premier League target

LAFC boss believes ‘sky is the limit’ for Premier League target

Though they managed to keep hold of him this summer, Jose Cifuentes is unlikely to be an LAFC player for much longer.

The Ecuadorian midfielder is one of the hottest prospects in Major League Soccer right now, so much so that he was heavily linked with a move to the Premier League during the summer transfer window – Brighton and Hove Albion being the club most prominently mentioned.

LAFC co-president and general manager John Thorrington is well aware of the talent he has on his hands and doesn’t look ready to stand in Cifuentes’ way when an appropriate offer from Europe does come along.

“What I’ll speak to about Cifu is I think if he’s not the most talented midfielder in the league, he’s up there,” Thorrington told reporters. “I think he has absolutely everything he needs to succeed.

“I’m not surprised to receive and hear of interest from high-level clubs in Europe. We, as I say, evaluate these opportunities on a case-by-case basis and we will cross that bridge when the appropriate opportunity comes.”

As well as helping LAFC seal the Supporters’ Shield and push for MLS Cup glory, Cifuentes will have another chance to put himself in the shop window should he add to his six senior caps and make Ecuador’s World Cup roster later this year.

Based on Cifuentes’ club form, which has seen him notch seven goals and six assists in 27 MLS appearances this season, he should have no problem making the plane to Qatar. Beyond that?

“The sky’s the limit with Cifu,” LAFC head coach Steve Cherundolo said. “As John said, he’s one of the most talented players in the league, midfielders in the league. I would second that. He’s in control of his own destiny. It can be a very exciting time for him moving forward. He knows what we expect of him and he’s been able to produce those performances quite frequently this year.”

Cherundolo added: “I think it’s an excellent, excellent season for Cifu, especially someone his age who’s showed maturity, which I think is the most important [part] for a midfielder at that age, is to play well consistently and not just have a great game and a poor and a great and a poor.

“So I think we’ve seen a nice step in maturity in his game this year. He’s not doing anything different than he did last year, but I think there’s a little more maturity there.”

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