From pitch-invading dogs to Atlas upsetting Tigres, Liga MX is back. Amid calls to globalize the league, we asked our experts Tom Marshall, Nayib Moran, Cesar Hernandez and Eric Gomez who they'd most like to see join Liga MX.
From a Chile international in the Bundesliga to an Argentina national teamer at Flamengo, here are their picks:
Eduardo Vargas, FW, Hoffenheim
Chile and Hoffenheim striker Eduardo Vargas appears to be for sale and would be an instant hit in Liga MX. The 27-year-old has had trouble settling at club level, but he's been a regular starter in the mini-golden period of the Chile national team and won the Golden Boot at last summer's Copa America Centenario, although Mexico fans won't want reminding of that.
It is easy to see the former Universidad de Chile forward banging in the goals in Mexico and becoming one of the league's star names, perhaps similar to Dayro Moreno at Club Tijuana.
At present, Vargas' future appears to lie between Brazilian giant Flamengo and the Chinese Super League. Flamengo's vice president has stated his team wants Vargas, but Hoffenheim is waiting for a big offer from China.
Reports of an $11 million USD fee would surely only be in place if the Chinese league was involved and Mexican teams can generally compete with Brazil when it comes to transfers. Vargas is nearing his prime and would be a great addition to Liga MX. -- Tom Marshall (@mexicoworldcup)
Adrian Lopez, FW, Porto
In 2012, Adrian Lopez scored 11 goals for Atletico Madrid in the Europa League. A year before that, in 2011, he scored five goals for Spain in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship, finishing the tournament as top goalscorer. However, since transferring from Atleti to Porto in 2014, Lopez's career has stalled. His lack of game time makes him a risky acquisition for many Spanish clubs who have their eye on the 29-year-old forward.
Coming to Liga MX could potentially revitalize Lopez's career. His market value is around $4 million according to TransferMarkt, a price tag that many Liga MX clubs could match if they decide to make a serious bid.
In the past Spanish players like Victor Vazquez and Saul Berjon have come to Mexico as important signings, but they've failed to become vital members of their clubs. But it can also be said that there have been positive cases. For example, between 2011-12, Luis Garcia gave great numbers for Puebla. And currently, Abraham Gonzalez has become a club leader at Pumas. Adrian, as he's known in Spain, could become an instant hit at a club like America, Monterrey, Queretaro, Club Tijuana or Pachuca. -- Nayib Moran (@nayibmoran)
Jesse Gonzalez, GK, FC Dallas
This at first seems like a strange candidate for Liga MX, but there are a couple of reasons why I would like to see Gonzalez make a move down south.
Despite his age, the 21-year-old is no stranger to big-game situations. Back in 2015, the goalkeeper was a difference-maker in FC Dallas' run to the MLS Western Conference finals. A few months before that run, Gonzalez was also given the start in two U20 World Cup matches for Mexico, replacing the highly talented Raul Gudino.
However, since the aforementioned moments, the Mexican-American slowly became a backup to Chris Seitz in the 2016 MLS season. With Seitz still remaining in Dallas' roster, Gonzalez should be keen to look for a new opportunity, one of which Liga MX can provide.
He would be a fairly cheap purchase for any Mexican club and as he has proven with his skillful saves, the youngster has an immense amount of potential. In fact, it wouldn't be a stretch to say that he is currently at the same level as a William Yarbrough or Gibran Lajud.
Finally, another intriguing factor is the attention from north of the border that Gonzalez would bring to the league. Due to his dual-national status and his lack of representation for a senior national team, the goalkeeper from North Carolina is still eligible to play for the United States too. -- Cesar Hernandez (@cesarhfutbol)
Federico Mancuello, MF, Flamengo
Mancuello would be a rarity in Liga MX from the get-go: he's a recent-ish Argentina national teamer (he was called up in 2015 under Gerardo Martino) who plays all over the midfield and is willing to do the dirty work in defense along with his noted prowess up front. He can score goals and set them up and generally does stuff that other players would consider out of the norm. That's exactly why he's caught the eye of Ricardo Pelaez and Club America, and it's why the team has given him a long look as a potential transfer target.
The former Independiente player would ideally support new Aguila Cecilio Dominguez in the midfield and create offense as needed for America in the middle of the pitch, something genuinely lacking from Ricardo La Volpe's club. With players like Darwin Quintero (for now), Michael Arroyo (ditto) and Renato Ibarra on the wings, Mancuello would have a strong group to work with, ideally running La Volpe's midfield as a field general. Bringing an educated left foot with him, he can also give America another option as a free-kick taker. -- Eric Gomez (@EricGomez86)