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FC Dallas ‘surprised’ by sudden departure of Anton Nedyalkov

Apr 21, 2018; Frisco, TX, USA; FC Dallas defender Anton Nedyalkov (6) in action during the game against the Philadelphia Union at Toyota Stadium. FC Dallas shuts out the Union 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

FRISCO, Texas — FC Dallas announced Saturday that newly-acquired left back Anton Nedyalkov transferred to Bulgarian side Ludogorets. 

It was a move that surprised many, including technical director Fernando Clavijo, who detailed the events leading up to Saturday.

“It surprised us, too,” Clavijo said. “It was nothing premeditated or planned. Early on in December, when we started looking at types of players, we got an opportunity to watch a game in which Anton was playing. We needed a left back. We entered conversations. How everything happened right away and how to get to know the background of Anton and everything else, it was because of Hristo Stoichkov, a friend of mine. We went out, we didn’t see anything else more than just a good player. He came in and when you evaluate him, you have a left back.”

Nedyalkov’s desire to leave the club began when he broke his collarbone May 26 during training. He approached the club and expressed his desire to return to Bulgaria.

“When he broke his collarbone, he started not feeling as good as he should,” Clavijo said. “He started, I guess, missing his family. And it brought up an issue that he, because of his family, was looking to go back, which surprised everyone because we’re not looking to transfer or sell him. We talked to the clubs that were interested in him. We figured out a way to make everyone happy and attend the family issues that he was having. We needed to make a decision quick, and we did. We never expected it because we felt we have achieved a goal to get a good, young left back that is going to get better with time. Everything else changed, and we needed to figure out a way that whatever we do, we have an opportunity to bring someone else.”

Nedyalkov has integrated quickly into Ludogorets’ lineup and is training with the squad. FCD stated in its press release that the collarbone procedure would have him out for 6 to 8 weeks. Clavijo says he is not surprised that Nedyalkov is playing.

“No, I’m not, because I know that collarbone is an injury but the other part of his body, he can get back in quick,” Clavijo said.

“I’m not surprised. Everything he mentioned to us was on target. I want to go back, Champions, family. Everything added up and it put us in a hard position but we’re able to do a couple of things, such as scout and be ready for it.”

The team tried to keep Nedyalkov and convince him to stay, but to no avail.

“We, of course, tried to convince him, but I think there was not much to convince,” Clavijo said. “As soon as you mention family, it is hard for us to figure it out. It could be, a terminal, something in the family. It is a moral obligation first to reach that. You have to be very careful how you deal with situations like that. I’m glad that he is happy, I’m glad that things are working out and I’m glad I think things will work out for us too.”

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