El Centrocampista

One to Watch – Is Darwin Machis the next South American La Liga star?

Photo: Orlando Gómez

Standing out so far this summer, has been the distinct lack of transfer activity at many La Liga clubs. Granada CF however, were very busy early in the summer, securing several new signings ahead of the new season. One of those signings and little known to many prior to his arrival, was Venezuelan striker Darwin Machis, who at 19-years-old, has a very bright future ahead of him.

Playing futsal less than two years ago, Darwin Machis was presented with his first crack at professional football, with Mineros de Guayana of the Venezuelan Premier Division. It didn’t take him long to make an impact. Scoring eight goals in 27 league games, along with eight goals in nine games during the Copa Venezuela winning campaign with Mineros, Darwin Machis was also named “Young Player of the Season” in his home country. His glittering first season, also saw him selected for the Venezuelan national team on two occasions.

There was initial confusion as to which of the Pozzo family owned clubs Darwin Machis was going to sign for, following initial reports and a medical at Udinese. Ultimately though, he penned a five year contract with Granada CF. Speaking with Darwin Machis and his agent Sebastian Cano upon their arrival in Granada, I learned that there had been lots of interest from European clubs, including Italian giants Inter Milan. The player and his agent though, felt that a move to Spain would be the best option, for his development as a player.

Darwin has settled in very quickly at Granada CF. During pre-season, he finished leading scorer with 3 goals in 5 games. Watching on during pre-season with the club, it was obvious to me he’s a young player with a lot of talent, though there’s still aspects of his game he needs to develop. He has a great eye for goal and isn’t afraid to take on defenders. With the ball at his feet, or played ahead of him, he’s also a player with a great burst of speed. Also impressive, is his workrate and level of commitment during play.

Most impressive for me however, when speaking with Darwin Machis, is his maturity and level of professionalism. While delighted to have such a great opportunity with Granada CF and to play in La Liga, he realises that he must be patient and work hard. A little shy, but not overawed by the limelight he’s suddenly been propelled into, he’s focused on the task ahead of him.

While initially he’ll likely be more of an impact striker, used from the bench, providing he gets the opportunities, I doubt it will be long before he’s making a name for himself in La Liga.

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