Rumors of several Championship and lower-tier EPL players, including Hugo Rodallega, have been thrown around the Colorado Rapids mill over the past month or so. The most recent player to get the treatment is Wolverhampton Wolves striker Kevin Doyle, who is fresh off a loan spell with PL side Crystal Palace, albeit one where the only minutes he saw were in garbage time and his only goal was against a fifth-tier side in the FA Cup.
Reports have Doyle in contact with the Rapids looking to potentially sign a deal, with Kenny Jackett apparently not seeing Doyle as an integral part of the team he was a star for back in their last PL stint. His contract with Wolves ends at the end of the season, and at that point it seems unlikely that he'll be finding anyone in England willing to take him outside of some less prestigious teams than Wolves.
What would Doyle mean to the Rapids? He's a highly-capped international for Ireland and a man who plied his trade in the Premier League for a long time, and wasn't really at fault for their double-relegation a few years prior. At 31 he's getting old, but still isn't quite old enough to Three or four years ago, he'd have been a top-tier looking signing for any MLS team, probably earning a pretty penny Designated Player contract.
Times, however, have changed. If Doyle is set to be Colorado's third DP following Gabriel Torres and Juan Ramirez, it's likely a mistake on Colorado's part. Doyle would essentially be coming to MLS after a year off, with only a few minutes at Palace of first team soccer all season. As such, his only goal of the year was the one against Dover, a side that any MLS team and likely some NASL teams would walk all over. That little soccer for a player that has now peaked over his prime is not a great sign.
Does that mean that Doyle wouldn't be a great goalscoring threat in MLS? It certainly doesn't. Doyle has always been a solid presence in the 18-yard-box and a good finisher, two traits that usually combine to mean lots of goals in this league. However, the risk is far too great to hand him over half a million dollars, and this is the perfect time to buy low on the Irishman after the most down year of his entire career.
It could turn out to be a solid addition if Doyle ended up a DP, but the Rapids would probably do well to try and explore a cheaper and less 'all eyes on him' option in case it doesn't work out that way in the end. Here's an idea: a two-year deal for less than DP money with the promise that if he manages to be the 15-goal scorer that the Rapids have been seeking, a new, larger contract could be on the cards. Win-win.