Lewis Morgan believes his trade from Inter Miami to the New York Red Bulls was unsurprising given his former club’s current financial predicament.
The Scottish winger sealed a switch to the Red Bulls during Sunday’s half-day trade window, with his new employers paying $700,000 in General Allocation Monday (GAM) in 2022 for his services, with a further $500,000 to come in 2023.
Though he struggled under Phil Neville this year, Morgan was Miami’s MVP in 2020, grabbing five goals and five assists to help the Herons into the MLS Cup Playoffs in their expansion year. With that in mind, it was perhaps surprising to some that Miami let him go.
But Inter Miami are currently compensating for fines of up to $2.2m in MLS allocation funds over the next seasons as punishment for violating roster rules when signing Blaise Matuidi. Morgan believes someone had to bite the bullet and be sold, and he was happy to join a club that wanted him.
“Someone had to go,” Morgan said shortly after his move on Sunday (via the Miami Herald). “The sanctions that are on the club meant it was going to be extremely tough for Miami to be competitive next year, so obviously, at the time you want to help the team on the pitch, but it’s going to be better for the club if I leave.
“They got a real good offer from Red Bull and that shows how much that club wants me. That’s important for a player to know you’re going somewhere you’re wanted. I’m also going to a place that I feel is a real exciting project. It came to work out for everyone.”
Though he possesses great skills on the ball, both finishing and crossing, and can dribble past even the toughest full-backs, Morgan’s greatest asset is perhaps his work rate. Given the insistence on high-intensity pressing among Red Bull teams – which is no different in New York under Gerhard Struber – Morgan naturally feels he’ll be a perfect fit at his new club.
“When I heard there was a possibility I was being traded and then I heard it was New York, it was exciting,” the 25-year-old said. “Obviously, we at Miami have always had a tough time against Red Bulls. That high-pressing style and energy is really going to suit my game. Everyone knows the one non-negotiable with me is my work rate.
“They have a young, exciting squad. I think they will get the best out of me. I think the system’s going to fit me, playing higher up the pitch again, which I think everyone would agree is where I played my best football so I’m looking forward to that.”
While Morgan went through the exit door, Miami did manage to bring in Brazilian midfielder Jean Mota from Santos, while also re-signing Victor Ulloa to a two-year deal.