Over the weekend, transfer rumors swirled around Cade Cowell. After a great summer, seeing him linked to a move away from PayPal Park wasn’t surprising.
Transfer negotiations seem to be still ongoing, but will he finally make the move to Europe?

Cade Cowell has been the best product of the Quakes Academy.

Now, he may finally be making his move away.  


The Quakes are holding out for a larger fee, or they will wait for the offseason. There are risks to both approaches. Losing him at this point in the transfer window would hurt the club at the moment, but there is no guarantee a larger offer will arrive in the winter.

Photo: MLS

Bologna is the club most heavily linked to Cade at the moment. While it’s not the most high-profile club, it’s a strong mid-table Serie A side. However, given Cade’s strong suits, does a move to Serie A make sense?

Any Cowell transfer can only help both sides. The player can live out his dream while the club can tout a success story from their academy system.


As of now, the most concrete offer is from Bologna and revolves around a 3+ million dollar fee with a loan. Leitch and the front office have yet to accept this bid.

Given that Bologna wants a loan with an option to buy, the Quakes are correct in being wary about this deal. Loans always present a risk, as it’s impossible to ensure that the player will succeed during that period. If you’re going to lose Cowell now, it’s better to take the fee upfront.

Furthermore, losing him now gives the Quakes very little time to make a move that will help their playoff push. Despite his stagnation in MLS this season, Cowell is still so vital to this side and could benefit from a deep playoff run. However, it does seem that the addition of Hoppe was done as insurance for a potential Cowell move.

With the Serie A starting soon and the window closing, both parties may wait this out for the January window. One can understand why the Quakes want to wait for the offseason to deal with Cowell. There are two sides to their argument, a sporting one and a financial one.

Again, this approach is full of risks. Yes, the Quakes are in a good position for the playoffs, but missing the playoffs will not let Cowell play on a larger scale. Additionally, there is no guarantee the market will be better for him, and Bologna may have moved on.

Cowell has meant so much for this rebranding of the Quakes and the success of their academy program. So, it makes sense why the club is waiting for a correct offer that may never come.  


It’s exciting to see a player come up through their local team’s academy and break onto the scene. In a way, it’s just as exciting to see them move on to greener pastures.

While the Serie A is no longer the powerhouse it once was, it’s one of the most difficult leagues to play in. Rivaling only La Liga in terms of the importance of technical abilities, the Serie A is tailored for players who are gifted in reading the game. Physicality isn’t as important, as evident in the type of wingers who thrive in the league, perhaps not the fastest or most imposing, but can just dribble.

This is where the concerns start for Cowell’s fit in Italy. His reliance on his physical gifts won’t go as far against Italian defenses. Further, managers in Italy demand all players defend, and Cowell hasn’t shown growth in that area. 

A positive for Cowell is the way Thiago Motta sets up his Bologna side. Motta’s sides are set up for the counterattack and give his wingers the freedom to attack. This is where Cowell could truly be unlocked, in a side that allows him to bomb up the pitch.


Photo: ESPN

There are reasons that the Serie A would be suitable for Cowell, but there are also concerns.

Are there better leagues for his development?


Daryl Dike’s move to the Championship may serve as a good example for Cowell, but also a warning. It’s clear that Dike’s skills are better suited to the Championship, like Cowell, players who are too talented for MLS but not ready for a top league. However, Dike has failed to make any waves yet, as he has yet to evolve his game.

A move to Italy would be great for Cowell and his development. Despite some concerns, Motta’s Bologna may be the best fit out there for him. 


As MLS becomes more known for the prospects academies produce, players like Cowell will start to move to Europe. Cowell has meant a lot for a fanbase that has eagerly awaited the prospect that would represent the Bay on a larger stage.
Now, as he stands ready to make that next step, the club will have to navigate this situation in the correct manner.

Photo: ESPN

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