Previous Club: Instituto AC
Acquired by: Full transfer from Instituto AC. The transfer fee is reported to be $1.2M, with Instituto receiving 20% sale-on clause.
Even though Mateo Bajamich was acquired in October of 2020, which seems like an eternity ago, the young Argentine has not yet played a game with the Dynamo. Bajamich was loaned out to Instituto, after signing in MLS, so that he would remain in playing form and be prepared for the 2021 season. “In preparation for the 2021 season, we felt this short-term off-season loan would benefit Mateo and our club to help him continue playing and gaining rhythm as we prepare for next season.” Dynamo Senior Vice President and General Manager Matt Jordan stated back in November. Bajamich finished out his loan spell with 9 appearances and added 2 goals to his tally, making his total numbers for “La Gloria” (Insituto’s nickname) 38 matches played, 11 goals scored and a single assist.
The Argentine started his professional career moving through the ranks of Instituto AC, he joined their youth system in 2016 and made the first team in 2018. Currently, playing in the second division of Argentina, Instituto has a rich history and players like Mario Alberto Kempes (ESPN Deportes commentator), Marcelo Bielsa (Leeds United Manager), and most recently Paulo Dybala (Juventus) have proudly worn the red and white jerseys for the Cordoba club. In January, Bajamich and Instituto failed to advance from the first knockout round of the promotion playoffs, keeping the team in second division for the time being.
What does he bring to the Dynamo?
Bajamich, 21, will be one of the youngest attackers in the team. Only Daniel Rios (homegrown) at 17 is the only younger than Mateo in that position group. Bajamich has a huge upside and potential with the raw talent that he has shown in his short career thus far. He has a strong physique and very impressive speed. Bajamich is not scared to have the ball at his feet and dribble around defenders. “He is a good player 1-v-1, he can break defenses down, he is a hard worker… I think he brings a lot of qualities that will help the team get better” said coach Tab Ramos of Bajamich.
Mateo played mostly on the right wing for Instituto, however he has the potential of a natural goal scorer. He can create his own scoring opportunities as well as taking advantage and sneaking goals in from chaotic attacking scenarios. “For Instituto, he has been playing mostly on the right side, let us say as a number 7. However, he has also, and I have spoken with Mateo myself about the possibility that he could play as a withdrawn striker or even as a number 9, but he is coming here mostly to be playing on the right side” mentioned Tab Ramos. Houston Dynamo’s head coach also added, “He (Bajamich) seems to be one of those players who is willing to play wherever the coach puts him. It’s that type of demeanor that you want from players.”
Like mentioned in the past with other players, there is plenty of competition to win an opportunity of making the starting 11, let alone making the game day team sheet. But Bajamich’s hard work ethic could potentially make him a household name, time will tell.
Where do you see Mateo Bajamich lining up on the field? Versatile winger? Replacing Mauro Manotas in the striker position? Let us know your thoughts.