TORONTO, Ont.—Toronto FC announced today that the club has signed forward Pablo Piatti from La Liga’s RCD Espanyol on a free transfer.
“Pablo comes to TFC with an exceptional pedigree,” said Toronto FC President Bill Manning. “He brings big game experience to our team, having played in close to 300 games in La Liga, as well as competing in the UEFA Champions League. We believe he’s the type of dynamic player who is going to enhance our attack and TFC fans are really going to enjoy watching him play.”
If he can stay healthy, Piatti, 30, checks all of the boxes that the Reds were looking for in their new designated player: he’s a left-winger who can play as a forward if necessary, he plays in one of Europe’s top-4 leagues, and his contract is set to expire at the end of the season.
In 2019, Piatti missed most of the year with a cruciate ligament rupture before returning in September. Since then, he has been limited to cup competitions and a few brief appearances for Espanyol off the bench.
While he has struggled to find playing time in 2019/20 due to injury (appearing in just seven matches), Piatti has performed well in Spain over the course of his career. In 294 La Liga games, Piatti has scored 48 times and added 42 assists while lining up alongside—and against—some of the world’s best talent (hello Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo).
I put together a longer scouting report on the speedy winger Wednesday afternoon if you want to find out more about our next DP.
Piatti is also already familiar with winning at BMO Field. He was part of the Argentina side that won the 2007 U-20 World Cup in Toronto.
In 2017, Piatti reportedly signed a three-year permanent contract with RCD Espanyol with the Spanish club paying 1.5 million Euros to his previous club Valencia for his services. If TFC wants to bring him in prior to the start of the season, they’ll likely be tasked with paying a similar fee, however, several reports believe that Espanyol are willing to let the attacker go on a free transfer in hopes of cutting their wage bill.
How it went down
Reports out of Spain Tuesday afternoon linked left-winger Pablo Piatti to Toronto FC.
The translation of the tweets were rough, but it appeared that Piatti was not with his current team RCD Espanyol in La Liga, but rather on his way to complete a medical and sign with Toronto FC, according to Cope.es’s Quique Iglesias, with a deal potentially completed by Thursday.
On Wednesday, the news was followed up by both The Toronto Sun’s Steve Buffery and The Canadian Press’ Neil Davidson reporting that Piatti was indeed in Toronto undergoing his medical and was already seen by MLSE’s Toronto Raptors doctor Alex Mckechnie.
According to sources, Argentine winger/forward Pablo Piatti is in Toronto and is being assessed by #TFCLive medical staff today and has already been looked at by #Raptors physiotherapist Alex McKechnie - the man who kept Kawhi Leonard on the court last year. #MLS— steve buffery (@Beezersun) February 5, 2020
And of course, on Friday, the Reds made the news official, before their first preseason game on Feb. 8 in Los Angeles, California.
I know injuries are a concern #TFCLive, but be excited. Toronto FC, and perhaps MLS, has yet to see a talent from La Liga like Piatti enter the league.