Signing midfielder Ricardo "Pepe" Ávila by the Club Deportivo Universitario for the Panamanian Soccer League (LPF) has generated a touch of controversy among those who applaud the return of the player and those who believe he should play abroad.
Universidad surprised many with the arrival of the player with a contract until 2020 with a monthly salary of $ 4,500 and the first option of renewal once it expires.
According to information that the journalist José Miguel Domínguez could obtain, he would win a total of 36 thousand dollars the first year and 45 thousand dollars in his second season, in addition to bonuses like 100 dollars for each game won playing as a starter and 50 dollars if it is as an alternate.
The first to oppose the return of the player was Felipe Baloy, who received an assist from Pepe Ávila to score Panama’s first goal in a soccer world cup in the last meeting of Russia 2018.
In his social networks, Baloy said that "Pepe Avila’s being here is concerning; a player with great projection, playing in Europe, with a world cup on his sholder and returning to our league something is going wrong (who is doing wrong, I do not know )".
There are many comments from sports journalists and people linked to Panamanian football who consider that Ávila is going backwards in his career turning down offers from Europe to play in the LPF, making him lose the projection he has.
Ricardo Ávila, born in Panama City on January 4, 1997, began his career with the Chorrillo club, and in 2016 he signed with Estonia’s FC Koper. After a season, he moved to Belgium's KAA Gent, where he was until this year, when he made his World Cup debut with Panama. Having an offer to play with IFK Gothenburg Sweden, he chose to play with the Universitario.
According to the specialized website TransferMarket, the value of the player is estimated at 450 thousand euros, an amount much higher than what the Panamanian club will spend in the next two years of the Ávila contract plus the bonuses.
Whether it was a wise decission or not in the career of the Panamanian midfielder, we will see in the course of the next two years and at the start of the next World Cup.