Luiz Araujo is headed back to his home country…
Atlanta United FC has agreed to terms with Brazilian Serie A side Flamengo to transfer the 26-year-old Brazilian professional footballer and midfielder.
Araujo will remain with Atlanta through June 24. Brazil’s summer transfer window opens on July 3.
Araujo will depart Atlanta having been something of a disappointment. He arrived in the summer of 2021 with high hopes after spending parts of five seasons with Ligue 1 side Lille after Atlanta spent a reported $11.8m to acquire the Brazilian.
Araujo scored 13 goals in 60 league and cup appearances for Atlanta, but his xG during that period was 16.34. Araujo also had difficulty finding the target on shots, especially in 2022 when he took 98 shots but only 33.7 percent of those were on goal — well below his peers who took at least 80 shots that season.
From a team standpoint, Atlanta didn’t fare much better, with the Five Stripes failing to reach the postseason in 2022.
The move will free up a Designated Player spot for Atlanta, though it remains to be seen how quickly the club will move to fill that spot on the roster.
In the meantime, the likes of Brooks Lennon, Derrick Etienne Jr., and Caleb Wiley will look to fill in. Wiley is currently with the U.S. U20 team as it prepares for the 2023 FIFA U20 World Cup.
Atlanta is in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, with 21 points from 13 matches ahead of Saturday’s match against Chicago Fire FC.