New York City FC have bolstered their attack, announcing Tuesday they’ve signed Algerian youth international forward Mounsef Bakrar from Croatian top-flight side NK Istra 1961.

Bakrar, 22, joins via the league’s U22 Initiative and is under contract through 2026 with an option for 2027. He arrives with 18 goals and three assists in 84 club appearances, breaking through at Algerian side ES Sétif before moving to Istra.

“We are delighted to welcome Mounsef to New York,” sporting director David Lee said in a release. “Mounsef is a talented and dynamic forward who enjoyed a fantastic first season in Europe and we are excited for the impact he will have on our roster, while also adding quality and depth as we enter the latter stages of the season and toward the playoffs.”

Bakrar, who mainly plays center forward, addresses a lingering area of need for NYCFC since Taty Castellanos spent the 2022-23 European season on loan at LaLiga’s Girona FC and Heber was traded to Seattle Sounders FC during the offseason.

This year, head coach Nick Cushing has used various players in the No. 9 role while the Cityzens have scored just over one goal per game. Talles Magno, Gabriel Pereira, Santiago Rodríguez, Matías Pellegrini and Richard Ledezma are all key pieces in the final third, though none are natural center forwards.

“I am thrilled to be joining New York City,” Bakrar said. “It’s a club that plays exciting attacking football that suits my style of play. I look forward to playing in this great city and hope to contribute on the field and help this team fight for trophies.” 

NYCFC, who won a league title in 2021, are chasing an eighth straight Audi MLS Cup Playoffs trip. This addition occurs with the Secondary Transfer Window open and lasting until Aug. 2.