Rossi’s move to Europe was long overdue, as the Uruguayan distinguished himself immediately after joining the LAFC ahead of his first season as a teenager. He scored the first ever LAFC goal in MLS history, the first of 48 goals in 104 regular season appearances. He also added 21 assists.
“This is the next exciting step in Europe for Diego,” LAFC Co-President and CEO John Torrington said in a press release. “We are infinitely grateful to Diego for the way he helped build this club, both on and off the pitch, from day one. Seeing him grow into a great player who will now play in the Europa League with Fenerbahce is exciting and shows that our talent development ambitions are working. “
Rossi was integral to the record-breaking 2019 season, winning the Fan Shield and setting a new league point record. He then won the MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi during the 2020 season, which was curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic and helped propel the club to the 2020 Concacaf Champions League final. The winger did not quite return to his usual form in 2021 with a career-low six goals after 19 games. He scored 14 goals in 19 games last year.
If the deal goes permanent, Rossi will break the LAFC transfer record. This move is a confirmation of the concept that the club has long been talking about in its preference to acquire and develop young talents.
Rossi arrived at LAFC as a high profile Uruguayan youth team player from Peñarol, where he scored 13 goals and 11 assists in 51 games before turning 19. Despite his continued success at LAFC, he is still awaiting his senior national team debut. He can play both on the flanks and in the center, showing himself as a direct, fast and dangerous striker.
Fenerbahce is one of the biggest clubs in Turkey, which finished second in the league last year. They are in the Europa League group stage this season and have several familiar names in their lineup, including Mesut Ozil, Enner Valencia and Luis Gustavo. They have won their three matches so far in the nascent 2021-22 league campaign.