Atlanta United home-grown player George Bello has finally joined German Bundesliga club Arminia on a long-term contract, putting to end a short transfer drama that also had Belgium as a possible destination.
The 20 year-old left back has joined the Bundesliga team on a 4.5-year contract, after spending his entire professional career in the Atlanta organization.
“With George we’re getting a very fast and dynamic left-back with a strong offensive drive. He’s a good kid who brings that typical American euphoria with him and wants to make a difference,” Bielefeld head coach Frank Kramer stated in the press release confirming the move.
The club did confirm that the contract will run for 4.5 years, until the end of the 2025-26 season, however did not disclose the transfer amount, which has been rumored to be in the region of $2 million.
With six USMNT caps under his belt and his contract at Atlanta set to expire after the upcoming season, Bello has Long rumored for a European move. Reportedly, some conflict had arisen between Atlanta’s initial wish to send him to Cercle Brugge in Belgium for a hefty fee, and the player’s wish to eventually sign with the German top-flight club following the expiration of his contract.
In the end, all three parties, Bello, Atlanta and Bielefeld, were able to come to an agreement, meaning that the speedy left-back will immediately get to test his skills in one of the best leagues in the world.
“The last few hours have been very exciting,” Bello stated through Bielefeld’s website. “My move to Arminia makes a dream come true for me, because I’ve always wanted to play football in Europe.”
“I’m happy and grateful that Arminia is now giving me this opportunity. I can develop really well here as a person and as a player. I can hardly wait to get started and I’m looking forward to the Bundesliga.”
Bello joins a team that is fighting for their survival in the Bundesliga. Through 20 of the season’s 34 games, they are in 14th place, two points ahead of the relegation places, albeit with a far better goal differential than the entire bottom half of the standings.
In fact, they have been one of the better defensive teams in the division, giving up a seventh-most-stingy 26 goals over 20 games.
They will be back in action on Saturday following the international break when they host crisis-team Borussia Mönchengladbach.