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Down the Line to the 2018 Season: The Midfielders

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The midfielders have some starters set in stone while other positions are still big question marks heading into the 2018 preseason camp.

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at Montreal Impact Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

In continuation of the previous articles time to take a look at a position that has been surrounded with a lot of controversy and rumors over the offseason. The midfielders have some starters set in stone while other positions are still big question marks heading into the 2018 preseason camp.

Ignacio Piatti: After signing a contract extension through the 2019 season with an option of 1 year fan favorite Piatti will likely have his hands full as always. The attacking midfielder who played most of last season on the left wing has left expectations high but hopefully management will get him someone to work with to relieve some of pressure he is constantly under to produce for the team.

Raheem Edwards: Acquired via trade from LAFC during the MLS Expansion Draft. The Canadian international who is extremely versatile having played in multiple positions for TFC it will be interesting to see how Garde uses him in his system. Edwards is a player who has been observed very early on believing that he has the potential to become a great player in the league.

Ballou Tabla: A young talented player surrounded by controversy. If it wasn't about choosing which country he would represent it was about his “colds” that were keeping him out of training. It is without question that Ballou has the talent to become something great and he wants to go play in Europe but he needs to demonstrate his talent on the pitch first. Last season, he seemed so preoccupied with getting out of Montreal that it affected his playing ability. He has to mature and develop his play before serious interest is brought about and that the Impact at the very least get a substantial return.

Blerim Dzemaili: With the press conference of Garde and his staff it was made very clear that Blerim would be departing but they were looking for a return first. The lost of Blerim is an important one because he is a player of caliber at a position that the Impact has very little depth.

Samuel Piette: He became a fan favorite very quickly. Piette is not a player that will score goals or the type of player that has fancy footwork but he works extremely hard on the pitch. His defensive ability is impressive and even the best have had trouble beating him on the pitch. It would be fun to see him step up in more of leader role on the pitch; he seems to have that quality in him.

Marco Donadel: A player who has given his heart and soul to this team for the past few years. Last season, we saw more intelligent play out of Donadel, less recklessness. One thing going into the season is that Donadel cannot play a full 90 minutes anymore. He can be an amazing asset when leading in a game to come and close out the game and be a wall with Piette in front of the defense.

Louis Beland-Goyette: We have already given him an in depth look in our article about the youngsters that can make an impact. The main thing for him is that he can be a great guy to play alongside of Piette.

David Choiniere: Another player that was given an in depth look in our previous article Choiniere. Having tackled injuries last season he has a lot of abilities with the ball at his feet. One of the main issues for Choniere is his preferred position if as a left midfielder meaning he is stuck behind Piatti; he will need to show his value somewhere else along the midfield line.

Shamit Shome: Another player looked into in the youth article. Shamit is a player who excelled a lot in his youth and could possibly be a decent player in the MLS. It would be interesting to at least see him in the Canadian Championship.

Rumours:

Jeisson Vargas: One rumor that is turning into something more plausible every day. Vargas, by some sources is already a confirmed signing. Mainly playing as a left wing he is able to play at the center and the right as well. The one apprehension that many have with Vargas is that we've seen many similar young south american players like Ontivero and Venegas make their way with the Impact and their playing style not fit in with the league. His finishing ability is extremely interesting and he was one of the free kick takers with his club, something the Impact is lacking right now. If he is acquired by the team it will interesting to see where he fits in.

Saphir Taider: Anytime a coach expresses an interest in a player it becomes interesting. A lot of rumors have emerged suggesting he would be the replacement for Dzemaili upon his departure. A lot like Dzemaili he can get the ball to the net and score from almost impossible angles and distances. He would be a great grab for the Impact and would make the Dzemaili departure forgotten very quickly.

Thibault Moulin: For a moment it was believe that Moulin would be Dzemaili's replacement but he has apparently asked for too much or the Impact has offered too little. Unless some drastic changes he will likely not make his way to the Impact. A reason it would have been an interesting grab is his distribution ability from set pieces to within gameplay. Having a guy like such setting up Piatti could have been a great grab.

Clement Grenier: The Impact have had many short lived rumors but this one is worth mentioning because big developments were made about the possible acquisition of this player but it has been confirmed that he will be staying in Lyon. It was a dream pick up from the start because he is young, full of potential and has a raw scoring ability.