According to a report from Ives Galarcep of Goal and SBI Soccer, Toronto FC may be interested in signing attacking midfielder Sofiane Hanni from Spartak Moscow of the Russian Premier League as a new Designated Player.
I'm told Toronto FC has its sights on Algerian playmaker Sofiane Hanni, currently at Spartak Moscow, as a DP replacement for Giovinco. TFC could definitely use his creativity after the departures of Giovinco and Victor Vasquez. #TFC #MLS— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) January 31, 2019
With Sebastian Giovinco on the way out, TFC have an open DP slot, which they assured fans would be filled soon. Hanni is a 28-year-old Algerian international who has three goals in 22 appearances over the last two years at Spartak.
Hanni previously had successful stints at Anderlecht and KV Mechelen of the Belgian Pro League, and at Ankaraspor and Kayseri Erciyesspor of the Turkish league, having begun his career at Nantes of France’s Ligue 1. He was the Belgian league’s Footballer of the Year in 2016 (the year after a certain Spaniard won the very same award...).
It seems that Hanni is a keen playmaker and a good dribbler through the centre of the pitch who can play several different roles. If the Reds are indeed about to sign him, he may be used primarily to help unlock Jozy Altidore up top, in perhaps more of a Victor Vazquez-esque role.
Hanni isn’t exactly high profile, but he’s a talented player who’s been impressive when given a large role at a club.