When the Vancouver Whitecaps announced the trade of Tony Tchani to Chicago Fire, it signaled to most fans that the other shoe was about to drop, and another signing was coming. 24-hours later, it was leaked that Jordon Mutch was in Vancouver and was ready to be announced as the newest member of the club.
The move for the 26-year-old Jordon Mutch is not a surprise to most Whitecaps fans, as the Caps YouTube channel accidentally released a highlight video of him in late January. However I must confess, albeit with little to no knowledge of Mutch, that I do not fully understand this move. There were some that claimed that the Whitecaps downgraded when they, essentially, traded Tchani for Mutch. I would argue that they are apples and oranges, as their roles are completely different, with Mutch being more of an attacking midfielder. Having said that, Vancouver has described Mutch as a box-to-box midfielder, which is what Tchani was touted. Therefore, maybe it is not apples and oranges.
There is no doubt that the Vancouver Whitecaps need some midfield help. We all know their need for a playmaker. However, will Mutch be that guy?
Mutch was acquired on a 12-month loan, with an option to buy. Despite being rostered by English Premier League club Crystal Palace, Mutch has yet to factor into a single match this season, with his last appearance being on April 8th, 2017, on loan to Reading (in the Championship, not EPL).
Jordon Mutch is a questionable signing by #VWFC. The 26 year old midfielder hadn't played a single minute this season for #CPFC, and their fans all seem thrilled to get rid of him. His last appearance was on April 8, 2017 on loan at Reading in the Championship. #WhitecapsFC #MLS pic.twitter.com/MfVZaFVRgZ— Jason Foster (@JogaBonito_USA) March 2, 2018
One of our members, rtomsheck, commented “I’ll admit that I don’t get the Mutch signing”. I am in the same boat. Specifically, I am not sure where/how he fits into the plan. If he is a box-to-box midfielder, does that mean he will be playing deep? If that is the case, that means that either Aly Ghazal or Efrain Juarez need to sit. If he is playing more centrally, and further up the field, that means Cristian Techera, Alphonso Davies, or Yordy Reyna (nevermind Kei Kamara or Anthony Blondell) get relegated to the bench. Again, it is important to note that I have not seen him play (then again no one has seen him play for a while), but does he really strike you as an upgrade over the above-mentioned names?
At the end of the day, maybe we are looking at this move wrong. Whenever you hear of a new signing, you want them to be a game changer. However, there is nothing wrong with creating more depth and making your squad, as a whole, stronger. I think I can say that Mutch certainly does that. The only problem is depth is not the main issue for the Whitecaps right now, and it is not what the fans are screaming for. Then again, it is not always, or even often, about the fans, and Carl Robinson needs to do what he believes is best for his club long-term. A successful club is not just about players 1 through 11, but rather 12 through 20. Mutch certainly contributes in that area, and hopefully he can pitch in where needed.
Welcome to the club Jordon Mutch. We look forward to seeing your contributions and proving to everyone your fit for this team.