TORONTO, Canada—With Richie Laryea’s meteoric rise within Major League Soccer for Toronto FC these past couple of seasons, clubs overseas are starting to take notice.
And this past month while with the Canadian men’s national team, Laryea picked right up where left off, highlighted by netting his first international goal in a 5-1 win over Bermuda.
Laryea impressed in camp so much so that his strong showing appears to have caught the eye of one of his teammates: Atiba Hutchinson.
Atiba Hutchinson recommended his Canadian teammate Richie Laryea to Besiktas. There is interest in Laryea, though it hasn't yet elevated to the point of an offer to TFC. Would be replacement for Rosier, who is on loan from Sporting, but expensive buy. Worth monitoring this... https://t.co/Kupfy2drmF— Paul Tenorio (@PaulTenorio) March 31, 2021
According to Turkish news outlet A Spor, the 38-year-old Hutchinson has recommended the fullback to his club Besiktas, although no offer has been formally extended to Toronto FC. Laryea is apparently being pushed as the replacement to right-back Valentin Rosier, who is currently on loan from Sporting CP.
If you can recall, Hutchinson and Besiktas teammate and fellow Canadian Cyle Larin reportedly recommended Besiktas purchase Alphonso Davies from the Vancouver Whitecaps before his eventual move to Bayern Munich in 2018.
The 26-year-old Laryea enjoyed another breakout campaign with Toronto in 2020, scoring four times and adding five assists in 21 appearances. One of the few players on the TFC roster capable of consistently creating opportunities 1v1, his standout play also earned him four MLS Team of Week nods as well as a nomination as the league’s best defender.
If you ask Aurora, Ontario and Nashville SC defender Alistair Johnston, he’ll tell you that Laryea was the best right-back in all of MLS last season.
According to Transfermarkt, Laryea is currently valued at €2.5m. He signed a new contract extension in June, meaning the ball will be in Toronto FC’s court for the foreseeable future.
Toronto FC’s most-expensive outgoing transfer (on record) was selling former first-overall pick Maurice Edu for €4m to Rangers back in 2008, although we are still unsure exactly how much the club received for selling Sebastian Giovinco to Al-Hilal in 2019.
“For Richie (Laryea), I have the same thoughts as I have for Ayo (Akinola),” Altidore told media last season. “Another terrific young player who has come in and taken his chance with both hands and continues to progress. I think for Richie, he has to keep his head down and continue to do what he’s doing. ... He’s a guy that I think has to continue to be hungry, has to continue to climb the ladder, and continue to try and play at a higher and higher level, and I think Richie has that hunger in him as does Ayo.”
“You know, you love to have those guys at your club but with the quality that they have, how long we’ll have them? We don’t know,” Altidore continued. “But that’s just the reality of football. But in the same breath, it’s a great thing to see. To see that they came here and they got themselves to a point that now they’re moving on, that’s huge.
“Obviously, we want them here as long as possible, we love them here in Toronto, but at the end of the day, it’s also a huge plus when you see guys go on to a new level and take what they learn and continue to excel.”
We’ve asked (many times) in the past, how long before Laryea begins to garner serious European interest? Well, it appears the time is now. While nothing is imminent, it’s certainly a situation worth monitoring.