Nicolás Domínguez completes Bologna move but remains at Vélez for now

A first call-up to the Argentina squad, two decisive match winning goals for Vélez Sarsfield and now a European transfer signed and sealed. It’s been quite the ten days or so for Nicolás Domínguez.

The 21-year-old midfielder flew to Italy this week for a medical and completed a transfer to Serie A club Bologna which will see Domínguez remain at boyhood club Vélez until potentially June 2020 before eventually linking up with the Rossoblu.

This move could happen at the end of the year but either way it represents a good deal for all involved. Domínguez continues his development in the familiar surroundings of Vélez under the capable eye of Gabriel Heinze, the club benefit from the midfielder remaining a central part of the starting eleven and Bologna secure the rights of one of Argentina’s most promising talents.

In order to do that Bologna have reportedly paid €7.3 million for 65% ownership plus potential add-ons with Domínguez signing a five-year deal. The academy product will remain at Vélez until at least December, although more likely to June 2020 [via @AgustinSileo].

Honoured as the Superliga’s best midfielders at the end of season awards some months ago, Domínguez’s €10 million release clause was always likely to garner interest from abroad and a terrific start to the new campaign would only have intensified interest.

Three goals in four games has seen Domínguez already match his tally for last season and while Vélez have started the new season a little slowly, the 21-year-old has been honing the art of making late runs in behind the backline to showcase his finishing ability.

But despite what those goals may suggest Domínguez is not some typical Argentine number ten looking to play in the space just off a centre forward but rather a modern box-to-box midfielder equally capable of grafting in the middle of the pitch.

“My characteristics are on the ball, to think and organise the game. My examples are Marco Verratti, Luka Madrid and Toni Kroos,” Domínguez said on Argentine radio.

The youngster’s passing and workrate in central midfield caught the eye long before his goals and since making his debut against Estudiantes in 2017, Domínguez has established himself a key figure under Gabriel Heinze.

While the likes of Santiago Cáseres and Matías Vargas took much of the limelight prior to their moves to Europe, Domínguez stepped out of the shadow last season to help Vélez to a sixth-placed finish. A regular alongside the experienced Gastón Giménez, the 20-year-old provided the energy to link play, the tenacity to win the ball, the ability to keep possession and the positional awareness to maintain the side’s balance.

Three goals, two assists and an average of two tackles and almost two interceptions per game showed Domínguez’s all-round ability and four games in to the new season, the youngster appears to be continuing to improve across the board.

Despite winning only once in the opening four rounds, Vélez have aspirations on at least matching last season’s finish and keeping Domínguez in Liniers is a huge boost to those hopes. The 21-year-old could make his Argentina debut in the upcoming friendlies and Bologna in 2020 should be getting a young player primed for the next step in his career.

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