D.C. United announced today that Paul Arriola will join Swansea City on loan for the remainder of the 2020-21 Championship season, with D.C. having the option to recall Arriola before the end of the MLS primary transfer window closes on May 4. A permanent option to buy is not part of the deal, but will apparently be revisited by both sides.
“We have spoken with Paul and we understand how exciting this step is for him in his professional career,” General Manager Dave Kasper said in a team press release. “ We wish Paul the best of luck and look forward to him rejoining our club.”
For Arriola, the move caps a year of ups and downs. Arriola suffered a torn ACL just ten days after his 25th birthday and was expected to miss the 2020 season. It did not stop him from signing a contract extension with United in July that goes through 2023 with an option for 2024, and he rehabilitated his injury fast enough to eventually return for the last game of the season on November 8.
Arriola (who turns 26 Friday) also returned to the United States national team fold in December, scoring a goal in his 34th national team appearance in a 6-0 win over El Salvador, and was part of the USMNT roster for Sunday’s friendly against Trinidad and Tobago, scoring two first half goals en route to a 7-0 win.
Arriola joins fellow national teamer and Seattle Sounders forward Jordan Morris on loan with the Swans, with both players getting a chance to contribute to a Swansea team that currently sit in second place, 2 points ahead of third-place Brentford (who have a game in hand, meaning they have a great shot at earning promotion to the Premier League. Morris made his Swans debut Saturday as a second-half substitute in a 3-1 win.
A successful run to promotion could potentially position Arriola to be the highest outgoing transfer in United history. While United has never specified transfer fees received, it is believed that Andy Najar’s move to Anderlecht for $3 million before the 2013 season is the current record-holder. If an option to buy is agreed on, using Arriola’s current transfermarkt value as a marker would exceed the Najar fee.
Good luck Paul!