Toronto FC look to be closing in on a major new signing... and it’s not exactly what we expected.
According to a report on Radio Capital in Peru by journalist Daniel Peredo - an account of which you can read in Spanish via La Republica - Peru international forward Yordy Reyna will be revealed as a TFC player in the coming hours.
Peredo says he has been informed of the move by the mother of Reyna, who currently plays for Red Bull Salzburg in Austria. It is, at this stage, just one report, but coming out of the player’s home country I would be inclined to believe it until given a reason not to.
If this is the attacking midfielder the Reds have been talking about bringing in all summer (and it’s difficult to imagine a further signing, as well as a new centre-back and right-back, could be fit under the salary cap), it’s a very interesting gamble and not necessarily the kind of profile of player we expected Tim Bezbatchenko and the front office to go for.
For starters, Reyna is more of a forward than a midfielder. He looks capable of playing all the way across the attacking line, but seems to be best suited to a role as a second striker. Perhaps I read the signals wrong but I saw Toronto targeting someone in the Sacha Kljestan or Nicolas Lodeiro mould, and Reyna is not that.
Instead, Toronto look to be getting a speedy, elusive dribbler who will be able to open up space and create chances on the counter-attack more than he might provide accurate, incisive passing.
According to reports, Peru's Yordy Reyna might be on his way to Toronto FC. It's been a rough few years for the young Peruvian forward as— LuisMiguelEchegaray (@lmechegaray) January 20, 2017
he's only 23. His speed & agility could be a nice compliment to Jozy Altidore. I've said it for a long time now, he's perfect for MLS.— LuisMiguelEchegaray (@lmechegaray) January 20, 2017
Reyna, by most accounts, has had a tough few years since joining Salzburg in 2013. He has been sent out on loan to a couple of smaller Austrian clubs in that time and also had a spell with their Red Bull partner club in Germany, RB Leipzig, at the end of the 2014-15 season. At just 23, however, he has plenty of time to get back on track and start living up to his potential.
While it hasn’t quite worked out for Reyna in Europe, it is somewhat encouraging that he was picked up by Salzburg in the first place. They have an an excellent reputation for identifying promising young talent, as illustrated by the rise of the likes of Sadio Mane and Naby Keita.
I’m intrigued, if not blown away. What do you think?