Gregory van der Wiel - Holding up Toronto FC jersey
Toronto FC

Toronto FC sign Dutch international defender Gregory van der Wiel

TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing

After weeks of reports linking the two parties, Toronto FC and Gregory van der Wiel made things official Thursday, when TFC announced that they signed the Dutch defender on a transfer from Italian Serie A club Cagliari. Van der Wiel was signed using Targeted Allocation Money.

An experienced Dutch international who’s played at some of the biggest clubs in the world, van der Wiel joined Cagliari last summer from Turkish club Fenerbahce, but made just five Serie A appearances before completing the move to TFC. The 29-year-old right back began his career with Dutch power Ajax in 2007 and spent four seasons with French giants Paris Saint-Germain before moving to Turkey in 2016.

“We are excited to bring Gregory van der Wiel to Toronto FC. He is an experienced player that has played with some big clubs in Europe and has represented his country at multiple international tournaments,” Toronto FC GM Tim Bezbatchenko said in a statement. “Gregory has a great defensive sense and will provide an upside on the ball with his strong distribution when in the attacking third. He will be a welcomed addition to our club as we continue to strive to improve as a team.”

An Amsterdam native, van der Wiel grew up in the Ajax academy and graduated to the club’s first-team in 2007. He made 191 appearances across all competitions in seven seasons with the team, recording 12 goals and 17 assists before moving to PSG in September 2012. He made 132 appearances in Paris, recording four goals and 22 assists to help PSG to four straight Ligue 1 titles. He joined Fenerbahce after his contract expired with PSG, tallying one assist in 17 appearances before joining Cagliari.

He has 46 career caps for the Dutch national team, starting for the country as they finished runners-up to Spain at the 2010 World Cup and earning a place on their UEFA Euro 2012 roster.

Van der Wiel will likely slot in on the right side of TFC’s backline, replacing Steven Beitashour, who recently left the club to sign with LAFC

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