Brazilian forward Talles Magno, who many fans expected to lead the NYCFC Playoff charge, has recorded just three goals and one assist in this campaign. The 20-year-old’s output, coupled with stopgap inclusions of many players attempting to fill the No 9 void, have left a lot to be desired from the NYCFC attack.
As NYCFC sit four places outside of the Eastern Conference Playoff positions, fans are voicing their concerns on all areas of the squad, but none more so than the attack. With an annual guaranteed salary just shy of $1.2 million, Talles Magno has done little to justify his place as the club’s third-highest earner this season. The Brazilian has made just 12 league starts in 17 games, and his four total goal involvements see him sit third in the squad rankings behind Santiago Rodriguez (5) and Gabriel Pereira (7). Though the NYCFC offense as a whole has taken a steep decline this season since the departure of Taty Castellanos and Héber, Talles Magno’s form has been particularly poor.
During the 2022 season, Talles Magno started 32 out of 34 league games, registering seven goals and eight assists, while primarily operating along the left wing. The young forward finished the campaign with the second most goals and assists in the squad (16), while also out-performing his expected goals and assists of 14.7. This begs the question, what changed?
Talles Magno has been played out of position to fill the void at No 9. And when he plays in his more natural position on the left wing, he doesn’t have a traditional No 9 in the box to create space for him to exploit.
As a player who flourishes the most with the ball at his feet and a target man to feed and work off of, his form has been the result of an attempt to make the best of a bad situation. While one can’t blame Talles Magno for the entirety of the squad’s attacking woes, many may argue that he should be able to contribute more to a squad in desperate need of goals. And for that, Talles Magno receives an average grade for the season so far.