LA Galaxy General Manager Peter Vagenas went into his first offseason on the job with the goal of signing a young, exciting and dynamic new Designated Player to bolster a roster that included some of the league’s top attacking talent.
On Tuesday, he officially got his man.
The Galaxy announced the acquisition of 27-year-old French winger Romain Alessandrini to occupy the club’s second Designated Player spot alongside Mexican playmaker Giovani dos Santos. Alessandrini joins the club after nearly three seasons with French giants Olympique Marseille.
After some tireless work by himself, technical director Jovan Kirovski, and others to identify and sign the winger, the Galaxy’s general manager was overjoyed to add a player he branded his “number one target” this offseason.
“I’ve been a part of this club for a very long time, and a club of our stature takes the efforts of a lot of people. Romain Alessandrini is coming to play for the Galaxy. He’s committing his future to our club, our fans, and the city of Los Angeles,” Vagenas told LA Galaxy Insider. “It’s much bigger than any one individual. It’s a gratifying moment because it shows the impact that our club has worldwide and the ability that we have to attract the players of his quality.
“There’s a ton of work that goes into player identification. There’s a ton of work that goes into our scouting efforts. We have made a concerted effort to continue to be bold and to continue to identify the players that we want. Jovan and his that has gone across multiple people. For me, it’s all worth it in the end when you’re able to secure your number one target in the offseason.”
Alessandrini brings a strong pedigree to StubHub Center with 10 years in the top levels of French football with stops at Marseille, Rennes, Gueugnon, and Clermont Foot. Throughout his professional career, Alessandrini notched 31 goals and 21 assists in the Ligue 1, the French top flight.
The 27-year-old winger tallied 11 goals and nine assists with Marseille from 2014 to 2016. The midfielder’s form led to a call-up to the French national team in 2013. However, he was unable to participate due to injury.
Given his impressive resume and age, Vagenas felt the team needed to make a move to bring the Frenchman to the Galaxy.
“The fact that he is only 27 years old and choosing to come to play for the LA Galaxy at this time in his career is definitely fulfilling,” Vagenas said. “At the end of the day, it’s incredible for our club to be able to attract a player of his quality who is truly entering the prime of his career. It is a massive statement for our club. We’ve been firm in our attempt to target these types of players, and with Romain, we absolutely got our number one target.”
Once the courtship was over, it was up to the Galaxy’s medical staff who vetted the winger extensively and gave him a clean bill of health to participate in preseason training. The 27-year-old must still obtain his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 work visa before officially joining the club for preseason.
Once he finally integrates with the group, Vagenas believes that the Galaxy’s attack will be a force to reckoned with in Major League Soccer.
“It’s an exciting moment for our club to add a player of Romain’s quality. It’s important, and we’ve been set on adding real quality to the group,” Vagenas said. “When you talk about the addition of Alessandrini and what he brings to the table, he’s a Designated Player entering the prime of his career. He’s an explosive and dynamic player in the final third that can win games and change games. We’re looking forward to adding him.
“You start to look at our group and we’re obviously excited with the pieces that we have. They’re exciting, young, and dynamic. They will ideally be able to work off each other, so it’s a group that certainly that we’re excited about.”