Fraser Aird has become the latest Canadian international to find a new club during the winter transfer window. The 20-year-old will join the Vancouver Whitecaps on loan, the club announced today. The loan is season-long from Glascow Rangers of the Scottish Premier League, and also has the option for a permanent transfer should the young Canadian impress in British Columbia.
While one of Aird's assets for Vancouver is the fact that he can play multiple positions, it is likely that he has been brought in to fill the hole left at right back. The Whitecaps have been looking to find a new player in this position ever since dealing Steven Beitashour to Toronto FC in December.
Aird is expected to fly into Vancouver tomorrow and then join the team's preseason training camp the following day. His move still requires a medical to be completed by the club, and that the proper paperwork be filed.
The Canadian has struggled this season to get regular playing time with Rangers, only appearing in three matches in the Scottish Championship. This is a step backward from the success he has had in the past, with 17 goals and 13 assists total in the 85 games he played for Rangers.
Joining the Whitecaps will give him an opportunity to reboot his career and remind everyone why he was able to break through at Ibrox at such a young age. In this sense he certainly fits the Whitecaps young and unproven mentality, as the team itself has a lot to prove after the way last season ended.
While, as aforementioned, right back is likely the positional need that Aird was brought in to fill, he also plays on the wing. This gives Vancouver some flexibility as to where they want to use him, and certainly proves his offensive ability as he will be able to get up and down the touchlines as a fullback.
Aird began representing Canada internationally at the senior level in 2015, as he also had the option to represent Scotland. He received his first callup and cap when Canada played Ghana in October, and was called up for World Cup qualifiers in November.