Benoit Cheyrou was an addition that came out of nowhere at the end of January 2015. He was an additional piece that made many Toronto FC fans, like myself, feel "this is finally the year" (the year we play 1 road playoff game of course).
Average Rating: 3.3
Highest Rating: 2
Lowest Rating: 6
The then 33-year-old signed as a free agent following the termination of his contract with Marseille 4 months earlier. The signing was designed to provide stability at the base of the midfield and give Michael Bradley more freedom to move up the pitch.
Cheyrou had an outstanding season in 2015. His ability to pick a long range pass with his left foot helped unlock several opposing defences. With Cheyrou sitting deeper, Bradley was able to contribute far more this season offensively.
Benoit was a truly calming influence in the middle of the pitch. A quick thinker who could receive a pass under pressure and distribute it further while minimizing the danger was a great asset all year. While he was (and is) not a tackling tactician that some deep midfielders tend to be, his positional awareness and decision making as it relates to when to jump into the attack prevented large gaps in the midfield.
While is 1 goal / 3 assist season was far from flashy, Cheyrou was often the player making the first pass in transition for a counter - which is something that you need to watch every game to see.
With all the good came a bit of bad - Cheyrou faded a bit later in the season and forced Greg Vanney to manage his minutes. It remains to be seen how he will be used in 2016. We may see Will Johnson start with Bradley in the midfield with Osorio picking up the other spot.
On a side note - does anyone own a Cheyrou TFC jersey? Or just me?