Atlanta United strengthened its Argentinian ties with the signing of one of the top young defenders in the Primera Division, adding 22-year-old Franco Escobar to the roster as a discovery signing.
Last season, Escobar made 34 appearances at center and right back for Newell’s Old Boys, a source of top talent for decades.
“Franco is a physical and versatile defender, capable of playing anywhere along the back line,” Atlanta United vice president and technical director Carlos Bocanegra said in a statement. “He’s a young player who has already featured often in the Argentina Primera Division and he brings a level of toughness that will suit MLS and benefit our club immediately.”
Escobar will officially join the club “pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P-1 Visa,” per the team’s announcement.
With former Newell’s manager and fellow Rosario, Argentina product Tata Martino now managing in Atlanta — with countrymen Yamil Asad, Hector Villalba and Leandro González Pirez playing prominent roles for the Five Stripes — Escobar is the latest addition in a productive pipeline. Additionally, the Argentine Primera Division helped groom the likes of Miguel Almirón and Tito Villalba.
After making his professional debut in June 2015, the 5-foot-11 defender became a mainstay on Newell’s back line. He joins an attack-driven club looking to shore up its defensive shortcomings from its inaugural campaign.