“I’m 25 years old, I could have stayed in Europe or in Italy,” Taider said during his introductory press conference Monday. “I came here to win trophies. I haven’t had a chance to win any trophies up until now, and I’m here to win, that’s it. I’m not here saying to myself, ‘I’m in MLS, all is well, the coach is good, we’ve got everything we could want here.’ No, I’m here because I want to win a championship.”
The French-born Taider has 162 career Serie A appearances in seven seasons, as well as 42 caps for Algeria. He featured twice at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, helping his home country advance beyond the group stage for the first time in the nation's history.
“Saphir is a young player but he already has a lot of experience playing in Europe, and playing internationally for Algeria, as well,” Garde said. “He has seen a lot of high-level competition and I am very happy to count on him for the beginning of this season and for the seasons to follow. He is going to be a very important element.”
Taider recorded nine goals and three assists in 115 games across all competitions with Bologna since 2011, in two separate stints with the club. He has also spent time with Italian giants Juvenus and Internazionale, as well as English Premier League side Southampton during his career.
He appreciates Garde’s approach to the game and was sold on his vision.
“What made me want to come play in MLS were the sports discussions I had with the coach,” Taider said. “We talked exclusively about football, and that pleased me. And I’m coming here with my family, so the fact that French is the language in Montreal helped.”
His experience playing in Italy has afforded him above-average tactical knowledge, according to Garde.
“He’s a very experienced young player,” Garde said. “He’s a strong midfield player, who can play in different positions and different systems, which for me is quite useful because we have to be flexible with the type of system we play. He’s a box-to-box midfield. He’s got very good technical abilities.”