Still reeling from the controversial Frank Lampard loan saga, the owners of Manchester City and the New York City FC found a way to appease North American football fans. The New York club announced that 24 year old Mix Diskerud will join their side after playing for the most successful football team in Norway.
City Football Group is the parent company that owns Manchester City, NYC FC, and a handful of other football teams. The organization acquired Lampard in the summer of 2014 after the midfielder became a free agent following a 13 year career at Chelsea.
The group assigned Lampard as the franchise player for the newly launched NYC FC, which will play their first professional game against the Orlando City SC on March 8th. But there was a long wait between the summer of 2014 and the MLS opener in 2015, and the group loaned Lampard to parent club Manchester City for the first half of the Premier League season.
But Lampard proved to be more integral to City’s success than the owners expected, and the parent club is one of the top bets to win the Premier League trophy, reach the FA Cup Finals, and qualify for the 2015-16 Champions League. As a result, City wanted to keep Lampard until the end of the Premier League season, well beyond the original loan end date this month.
The plan to extend Lampard’s time in the UK angered fans of NYC FC, who bet that Lampard could lead the team to a strong showing right out of the gate. When it was confirmed that Lampard would remain with City until the end of May, City Football Group went into damage control mode, attempting to pacify feelings of anger in New York.
A break came for the owners when they were able to sign Diskerud, a star player from Norway’s most successful football team Rosenborg BK. Diskerud has 4 goals for the Norway team this season, including 2 goals in the Europa League qualifiers. He also plays for the US football team, and was assigned to the American side for the 2014 World Cup, though he never stepped onto the pitch in Brazil.
Speaking to fans of the NYC FC side, the club’s Sporting Director Claudio Reyna said Diskerud will be a fantastic asset for the club at midfield, and will complement Lampard when the elder midfielder joins the team in the summer.
“Mix is a dynamic midfielder who will easily fit into the style we want to play here in New York City. He keeps possession well and gets everyone involved with his passing range.”