A Rossi move to Europe was long overdue, as the Uruguayan excelled immediately after joining LAFC ahead of his inaugural season as a teenager. He scored LAFC’s very first goal in MLS, the first of 48 goals in 104 regular season appearances. He also added 21 assists.
“This is an exciting next step in Europe for Diego,” LAFC Co-Chairman and CEO John Thorrington said in a statement. “We are eternally grateful to Diego for the way he has helped build this club on and off the pitch from day one. To see him grow into a great player who will now play in the Europa League with Fenerbahçe is exciting and shows our ambition to develop talent works.
Rossi has been an integral part of the club’s record-breaking 2019 season, winning the Fan Shield en route to setting a new league points record. He went on to win the MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi in a 2020 season cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic and helped lead the club to the Concacaf Champions League final in 2020. The winger hasn’t quite returned to his usual form in 2021, with a career-high six goals after 19 appearances. He scored 14 goals in 19 games last year.
If the deal becomes permanent, Rossi will break LAFC’s transfer record. The move complements a proof of concept that the club has long spoken about in its preference for acquiring and developing young talent.
Rossi arrived at LAFC as a highly regarded young Uruguayan international from Peñarol, where he scored 13 goals and 11 assists in 51 appearances before his 19th birthday. Despite his consistent success at LAFC, he is still awaiting his senior national team debut. He can play on the wing or in the center, brilliant as a direct, fast and dangerous attacker.
Fenerbahce are one of Turkey’s biggest clubs, finishing second in the league last year. They are in the Europa League group stage this season and have several household names in their squad, including Mesut Ozil, Enner Valencia and Luiz Gustavo. So far, they have won all three of their games in the all-new 2021-22 league campaign.