Transfer Tracker

Montreal Impact complete DP signing of Algerian international Saphir Taider

Saphir Taider - with Bologna - close up


The Montreal Impact made good on their promise on Monday, announcing the acquisition of Algerian international midfielder Saphir Taider as a Designated Player from sister club Bologna FC.

Taider, who has 162 career Serie A appearances, signs a three-year deal that includes a two-year loan from Bologna as well as an option for 2021. He will join the club pending a physical and receipt of his International Transfer Certificate, or ITC.

Club officials had suggested the signing was coming for several days.

“We’re very happy to welcome Saphir with our club,” Montreal Impact president Joey Saputo said in a statement. “He’s a very competitive player who has played over 100 games with Bologna FC since 2012. This signing will help the team to reach his goals.”

The 25-year-old, French-born Taider has seven Serie A seasons under his belt, as well as 42 caps for Algeria. He featured twice for El Khadra at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, helping them advance beyond the group stage for the first time in the nation's history.

Taider recorded nine goals and three assists in 115 games across all competitions with Bologna since 2011, in two separate stints with the club. Taider has also spent time with Italian giants Juvenus and Internazionale, as well as English Premier League side Southampton during his career.

“It’s an excellent signing for our club because Saphir is both young and has a lot of experience on the European stage,” Montreal Impact head coach Remi Garde said in a statement. “His career thus far in some of Serie A’s biggest clubs and with the Algerian national team makes him a very important player who can help the Impact win trophies in the seasons to come. After explaining the project being put in place here in Montreal, to my great satisfaction, he chose to accept this challenge and to invest himself fully. His European track record and his position in midfield will give him many responsibilities. I am convinced that he has all the capacities to become one of the top players in MLS.”

Taider continues Montreal's tradition of acquiring players from their sister club, including current forward Matteo Mancosu as well as recent departures Blerim Dzemaili and Deian Boldor. That heritage also includes club legend Marco Di Vaio, who hit 34 league goals in two-and-a-half MLS seaons and is Montreal's only player to post a 20-goal MLS campaign.

Taider won't produce lofty offensive numbers as a box-to-box midfielder, but he gives balance to Garde's squad after they also recently completed the signing of defender Zakaria Diallo.

Despite scoring 52 goals last season, the Impact's 58 conceded were a main reason they finished 2017 on the outside of the playoff picture. Taider will likely be asked to help the Impact find ways to attack without becoming as vulnerable defensively.