Although the New York Red Bulls have said otherwise, the most obvious explanation for Anatole Abang's abrupt loan to Danish club Hobro IK is that RBNY is hoping to offload the forward. He was barely getting any playing time for either the first team or reserves by the time he left New York, and that was becoming an increasingly conspicuous waste of talent since Abang had started (and continues) to get call-ups to the Cameroon Men's National Team.
The terms of the 20-year-old's loan don't seem to help RBNY's on-field ambitions in any obvious way: he's in Denmark until next summer, half-way through the next MLS season. The Red Bulls put Abang out of their reach for the rest of this season and a large chunk of 2017. Unless Ali Curtis is actively planning on needing a striker next summer - which doesn't seem to bode well for the front half of next season - it appears Abang has been sent away for a purpose other than his value as a player to RBNY. He is in Denmark to boost his transfer market value.
If he simply needed to find form, he could be playing with NYRB II, for whom he'd already proven himself a reliable scorer. Instead, he is proving himself to Hobro, for whom he has just scored his second goal since landing at the club at the end of August.
Abang hasn't been long in his new Danish shop window, but Kristian Dyer reports for MSG Networks that the player is already attracting attention. Specifically, that attention is reportedly coming from Swedish top-flight team Hammarby and Danish Superliga outfit Brondby.
Hammarby is getting near the end of a mid-table season in Allsvenskan, and is presumably starting to look ahead for players to retool the squad for 2017. Brondby is slipping a little in an effort to keep pace with early-season Superliga leader Kobenhavn. They are two of a large number of clubs that might be shopping for reinforcements in the January transfer window. And that, more than the specific identity of the teams mentioned, is the significance of this rumor: Abang might be set to feature in soccer's January sales.