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Future of Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty still up in the air

Is the youngster poised for a move away from Toronto this winter?

MLS: Toronto FC at Philadelphia Union Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

As the TFC faithful continues to patiently wait for new arrivals ahead of the 2023 MLS season, a handful of returning players could still leave the club before the start of the campaign.

Of those handful of players, one of them is Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty, who in the last year has been no stranger to rumours linking him with a move away from Toronto FC.

Moreover, the Brampton native has indeed been the subject of interest from several clubs across Europe over the last year.

During the 2022 offseason, the youngster trained with Belgian champions Club Brugge, as well as English Premier League giants Arsenal and Liverpool, which sparked initial rumours of a move to Europe for the Canadian starlet.

Now, ahead of the 2023 season, Marshall-Rutty’s future at Toronto FC still remains up in the air.

When asked about the 18-year-old’s status at the club, TFC head coach Bob Bradley said: “Let’s see what happens in January.”

A day later, MLS insider Tom Bogert reported that the Reds turned down an offer from abroad for Marshall-Rutty, as well as a trade offer from within MLS.

Marshall-Rutty, who at 15 years of age became the youngest player in TFC history to sign for the first team, made a total of 17 MLS appearances in 2022. After featuring in the Reds’ first four games of the campaign, TFC’s No. 7 suffered a knee injury that ruled him out for three months.

Since making his return from injury in June, the youngster started just two matches, playing the full 90 minutes in the Reds’ 0-0 draw with the New England Revolution, and the 4-0 defeat to the Philadelphia Union on Decision Day.

The TFC academy product was pictured arriving for preseason medicals on Friday, January 6th prior to the upcoming camp in San Diego.

Back in February 2022, Mike Senkowski, Marshall-Rutty’s agent, claimed that several European clubs were “tracking” Marshall-Rutty’s development in MLS.

“Bob [Bradley] has been terrific with Jahkeele, so that helps for a young talent to focus on his current environment,” said Senkowski.

“[Greg] Vanney gave him the encouragement and feeling, but Bradley has given this as well, along with opportunity and readiness to play.”

It is safe to say that should Marshall-Rutty remain in Toronto, he will have a point to prove on the pitch in order to become a first-team regular for the Reds. Yet, should Europe come calling again, the youngster could well be enticed to cross the Atlantic and continue his development abroad.