After an Eastern Conference Final bow out, it is looking like the Revs intend to challenge for MLS Cup. The New England Revolution announced the transfer and signing of Arnór Ingvi Traustason from Malmö FF. The 27-year old Icelandic international is a welcome addition to what can become one of the deadliest attacking forces in MLS. Traustason is a right-footed attacking midfielder that throughout his career, has been primarily deployed as a left-winger.
Breakout at Norrköping
Starting his senior career at Keflavík, an Icelandic professional team, Traustason showed his potential by scoring ten goals in 52 appearances. As a result, he garnered attention from the Allsvenskan, culminating in a move to Norrköping in 2014. 2015 ended up being Traustason’s best season with the Swedish side. An increase in his playing time saw him contribute seven goals and ten assists. The collision of the Euros and the Allsvenskan season was not kind to Arnór. Traustason did not reach the same heights in his final year with the Scandinavian outfit. He finished his time with Norrköping with 12 goals and 16 assists for the club.
Due to a successful three years in the Allsvenskan and solid performances in the Euro’s, the Austrian Bundesliga came knocking for his services. Rapid Wien brought him in, and while he had an ok season, he did not thoroughly impress. In 27 total appearances across the domestic and Europa League, Traustason supplied three goals and created four assists. He departed on loan for AEK Athens with an option to buy for the 2017/18, but the loan was terminated in December of 2017.
Return to the Allsvenskan
Following the termination of his loan with AEK Athens, Traustason signed a three and a half year deal with Swedish giants Malmö FF. In his three season’s with the club, he has ironically had the same domestic totals as his time with Norrköping, though one more assist due to the Europa League.
Traustason, New England’s Viking
As a right-footed left-winger, Traustason can bring a balance to the Revolution’s attack. Depending on the formation, you can see him out wide left, Bou in the middle, and Gil coming in from the right onto his favored left foot. Having the innate drive to drift inside from the left-wing will also open up space outside. As a result there can be more overlapping runs from whoever is deployed at left-back. This gives the offense a chance to overload and possibly get into better crossing situations. Therefore, we should see his movement creating more opportunities for Bou and Buksa from crosses and cutbacks. His time with the Icelandic National Team has also prepared him to have a super-sub role. In 33 appearances, he has only started 20 of them, and his most impactful moment came as a substitute (see video below).
He also brings a wealth of experience from his time in Europe and with the Icelandic national team. This experience should help him adapt to the league, and hopefully, assimilate with his new teammates. Gelling will always be a process, but seeing as he has both the creative side and a nose for goals, Traustason could become an immediate impact player for the Revolution. Plus, the guy has scored one of the most important goals for the Icelandic National Team, so the pressure should not get to him.