The New England Revolution announced the signing of French defensive midfielder Wilfried Zahibo using allocation money on Thursday.
The 24-year-old last played for Spanish second division side Gimnàstic de Tarragona but was released by the club on Jan. 5 2018. Zahibo has played his entire career in Europe, featuring in Spain and France.
General manager Michael Burns believes that Zahibo can make an instant impact on the Revolution team.
“As we continue to add players to the 2018 roster, we believe Wilfried is a player who will improve the quality of our team,” Burns said. “He is a player capable of impacting matches from his central midfield role and we look forward to integrating him into our team as soon as possible.”
Prior to his time at Nàstic, Zahibo played for top-flight Spanish side Valencia CF, third division Spanish team CF Fuenlabrada, and second-tier French team AC Ajaccio. Zahibo has spent most of his time playing for the B-teams of Valencia and Ajaccio and has made over 125 appearances in his career for all of his clubs. He has yet to appear for his national team at any level.
Zahibo adds depth to the defensive midfield position in the Revolution team, a position that has been barren since the departure of Gershon Koffie and Xavier Kouassi. While it is unclear if he will walk straight into the lineup, he should have the ability to push for starting minutes early on.
While he may not be as experienced as many of the possible targets for the Revolution at the defensive midfield position, his upside is that he has played in respectable youth systems and is only 24-years-old. This means there is plenty of room for him to develop into a top player.
Zahibo will join the Revolution after he receives his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P-1 Visa and will wear the no. 23.