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Bradley Orr a potential Toronto FC transfer target

The Daily Mail are reporting that Bradley Orr could be following Jermain Defoe to Toronto FC this month as the defender seems unwanted at Blackburn having return to the club following a loan stint at Blackpool

Not the most photogenic player out there apparently
Not the most photogenic player out there apparently
Chris Brunskill

Bradley Orr has spent the past few years struggling to find consistent playing time in England.  The now 31-year-old defender just completed a half-season loan to Blackpool that saw him barely get on the field and now that he has returned to Blackburn it seems likely that he will have to look for a new home.

Orr joined Blackburn two years ago and has now been sent out on loan twice while managing to make just over 30 appearances for the club.  The problem that Orr now faces is that he is on far too large of a wage to not be playing for the club and that could very well lead to Rovers releasing him on a free to remove his hefty contract from their books.

With that in mind the Daily Mail are reporting that he could be on his way to Toronto FC this month.  The report is very limited as Orr only rates one photo and the following two sentences of text:

Meanwhile, Blackburn Rovers defender Bradley Orr is poised to follow Jermain Defoe by making the switch to MLS side Toronto FC.

The 31-year-old Liverpool-born right-back has been on loan at Blackpool this season but is keen to move across the Atlantic.

Not much to go on but it does raise some interesting questions.  It is not the first time that someone in England who is looking for a new club winds up being linked to TFC.  In fact, during the spring and summer months of last year it was a very regular occurrence likely due to agents picking up on the fact that Ryan Nelsen was more than willing to work his connections in England to bring in players to bolster his roster.

The club has moved away from that policy in recent months as they have begun to look elsewhere for talent but some of the early moves to England did work out last year.  Robert Earnshaw was a good striker and led the club in scoring during his one season and Steven Caldwell is now one of the leaders on the team so if the club could pick up similar contributors from England it would be welcome.

There is reason to be skeptical about this rumour though as that is just how easy it would be to connect dots that really have nothing to do with one another.  Orr is almost certainly on his way out at Blackburn so he will be looking for a new club, TFC are certainly looking to sign players, they have a history of shopping in England under Nelsen, and Orr and Nelsen briefly played together when both were at Rovers in 2012.

The one thing that this rumour has going for it is that Orr is primarily a right back which is a position where TFC could be looking to add some experience to push the likes of Mark Bloom and Ryan Richter.  If, and it seems a big one, Orr were to take a sizeable pay-cut to be able to continue his playing career then he could be a decent fit.  That pay-cut would have to be steep though as he would probably only make sense if he cap hit were similar to that which Caldwell is listed on by the MLS Players Union.

It seems a thin rumour at this point but if TFC does manage to offload Richard Eckersley then Orr could be brought in as a replacement.  If he is making less than Ecks by a substantial margin the move could work out but his lack of success in recent seasons raises some concerns about his current ability.  Orr has not even logged 20 competitive appearances in the past year and half which could be a concern.

For now this is one to keep an eye on but nothing to get all that excited about.  If he arrives at the right price he could be a better version of Darel Russell but if he does not wind up in Toronto I doubt many fans will be too broken up about it except for Rovers fans who seem to really want to see him gone.

In the meantime we can all keep busy waiting on some Toronto FC major announcements.