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Rumour: Interest from Italy and France for Jozy Altidore

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Apparently the big man has turned some heads overseas.

Tagwa Moyo // Waking the Red

Just after Jozy Altidore netted a hat trick in the 2018 Canadian Championship final, a report came out from ESPN FC that tells us that Jozy Altidore is rumoured to be garnering interest from a few European clubs. One of the clubs is reported to be in Italy’s Serie A, while the other one is from France’s Ligue 1.

To me, this would be a shock move if it did actually become true because Jozy Altidore is currently enjoying a very successful stint with Toronto FC. He’s won the 2017 MLS Cup, became a finalist for the 2016 MLS Cup, won the MLS Supporters’ Shield in 2017, and just recently won his third straight Canadian Championship with the Reds on Wednesday. This move would also be surprising because during Jozy’s time in Europe, he really didn’t have too many successful spells. His only really good stint was in the Netherlands with AZ Alkmaar. But his latest spell in Europe was with Sunderland in the Premier League, where he only scored one goal in 42 league games.

Despite the interest from these 2 teams, there is a decent chance that Altidore wouldn’t want to move back to Europe in the first place, as he seems to be liking Toronto and I think it’s unlikely that he would leave now when the Reds have just won so many trophies and could still attempt to win the CONCACAF Champions League next season.

Altidore started his career with New York MetroStars (now the New York Red Bulls), being drafted 17th overall in the 2006 MLS SuperDraft. He scored 15 goals in 37 MLS appearances for the Red Bulls, until moving to Villarreal in La Liga for a whopping $10 million USD. His signing was the most expensive fee for a player in MLS at that time. Altidore went on to make nine appearances for Villarreal, scoring only one goal in his minimal time there. While contracted to ‘The Yellow Submarine’ he was sent on loan to Xerez, Hull City, and Bursaspor. Jozy Altidore later signed for AZ Alkmaar in July 2011, where he enjoyed a good spell with them, scoring 39 goals in 67 Eredivisie appearances.

In the summer of 2013 Altidore returned to the Premier League, moving to Sunderland for $13 million USD. His career there was certainly one to forget. After a year and a half he transferred to Toronto FC along with an undisclosed fee in exchange for Jermain Defoe. Since signing for the Reds, Jozy Altidore has scored 41 goals in 82 MLS appearances, making him the second highest goalscorer for TFC, only behind Sebastian Giovinco.

MLS: MLS CUP-Seattle Sounders vs Toronto FC Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Overall, I don’t think this rumour is going to happen, the Italian transfer window is closed, but French clubs can still sign players until August 31. They can still sign their man, if they can make an offer big enough to convince Toronto FC’s front office to accept, and if Jozy Altidore will actually want to sign with the team in the first place.