Darlington Nagbe's usual spot in the midfield is now suddenly being contested by newcomer Franck Songo'o, possibly pushing Nagbe into a forward position. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Last week we all got our wish in Franck Songo'o being officially signed by the Portland Timbers. Given his youth and European experience combined with an impressive display of control and skill during pre-season it wasn't really a huge surprise, but it was a welcome bit of news nonetheless. However, his signing does raise one question in what exactly will happen to Darlington Nagbe's usual position in the midfield?
It's been no secret that Nagbe has been gunning for a striker position. We've mentioned it here and he's said as much multiple times in various interviews over the last few weeks. Still it's not a guarantee that he'll land one of those spots up top and many expected that he would remain at his usual right winger position in the midfield instead, especially with the signing of Kris Boyd who is pretty much guaranteed at least one of those striker spots barring any injuries.
Franck Songo'o, however, is now also crowding up that right winger position in the midfield making Nagbe's position there a little more in doubt. So what will happen?
Aside from the obvious that there's more competition all around for Darlington Nagbe, which will hopefully push him to new heights, I find myself contemplating just what the 2012 season holds for him. With Songo'o suddenly adding depth to his former position Nagbe should be able to pursue the spot he's wanted all along without fear of leaving the position to weaker players (no offense to Sal Zizzo). Then again, that also means battling against the likes of Bright Dike, Jorge Perlaza, and Brent Richards for that singular striker position (possibly Eddie Johnson as well when/if he recovers).
One possible scenario would be a 4-5-1 formation that we saw the Timbers field against the Houston Dynamo in their 2-0 victory that had Darlington Nagbe playing on the right side of the field and Songo'o taking one of the center positions. Such a scenario would allow both to get meaningful minutes, albeit at the cost of the other strikers the team has an abundance of.
Aside from that though, with Songo'o seemingly bolstering the right midfielder position, I'm having a tough time imagining Nagbe starting over him at least in the beginning (obviously performance matters). As such it might make more sense, given a more traditional 4-4-2 formation, that he aims higher for that striker position he's been wanting this entire time. Despite a recent poll of ours showing that many would prefer he stay in his usual position.
What do you guys think? How does Songo'o's addition to the team and favoring of the right wing position change the dynamics of Darlington Nagbe? How do both of these players fit in on the same team?