The MLS SuperDraft is complete -well, the first two round anyway- time to switch our attention back to the transfer window. At the conclusion of the SuperDraft, Carl Robinson suggested that a trade was imminent to provide some depth at the Right Back position. It was though that news might come out on Friday, along with the official signing of Christian Bolanos. It is now Monday morning and neither of those potential acquisitions have been finalized. However, we do have some other news (rumors) coming up.
A Ghanaian football website is suggesting that Gershon Koffie is being scouted by two first division Belgian clubs, Lokeren (currently in 9th place) and Westerlo (currently in last, 16th). The Ghanaian website suggests that Koffie should fetch more than $2 million. I feel that is a bit optimistic, given what some other MLS players have gone for, but you never know. I am not sure what to make of this rumor, but it comes as no surprise to most Vancouver Whitecaps fans. It is not that Koffie has played poorly, but rather that he has been seen as someone who would move on to Europe at some point anyway. Moreover, The Whitecaps have become fairly loaded at the Defensive Midfield position and Koffie is an asset that could be moved for a sizable transfer fee. With the addition of Kudo and other attacking midfield options, it has been suggested here and elsewhere that the Whitecaps may move away from the two defensive midfield formation, and the transfer of Koffie might be a good indication of that change. While Russell Teibert and Deybi Flores, and maybe even Pedro Morales, can play beside Laba, the feeling is that the Whitecaps need more offense from their defensive midfielders. Teibert is a solid player but has not shown an ability to be an offensive threat, outside of one game against the LA Galaxy. Flores is young and seems to struggle with balancing offense and defense. Morales would be a 'false' defensive midfielder if he were to play alongside Laba, as he would simply be lining up in the position and not really 'playing' the position. In my opinion, Koffie was the only option that brought an acceptable balance between offense and defense; which also might be why he is the best option to be transferred. We will see what comes of this latest rumor, and what it will mean for the Whitecaps this season.
Despite drafting center back Cole Seiler with the 16th pick in the MLS SuperDraft, and promoting him as the next Tim Parker and splashing his ginger-haired face on every piece of media they can find, it appears the Vancouver Whitecaps are wanting a little more insurance at the center back position. RedNationOnline is suggesting that the Vancouver Whitecaps have signed 22 year-old Irish/Iranian international Neil Yadolahi to a pre-contract. If this is believed to be true, it is a bit of a surprise. Sure, there is the belief that you can never have too many young center backs, however, it appears to be one position the Whitecaps have solid, young, depth, with Kendall Waston, Tim Parker, Christian Dean, Cole Seiler, and Pa-Modou Kah. Then again, we know that these players will lose a few games due to yellow card accumulation, international call-ups, nagging injuries, and potential rest. In addition, the Whitecaps will be playing another packed schedule this season, so additional reinforcements, especially young ones, are never a bad thing. This move might also signal that the plan to trade for a right back has fallen through and we might see Parker or Dean out wide a few times this season, should Jordan Smith have any problems.
Depending on your sentiments, the Winter transfer window is half done or half started. Either way, the Whitecaps appear to have begun to really make their moves for the upcoming season, with their first pre-season match set to take place on February 3rd against the Jordan Morris-less Seattle Sounders, in Arizona.
What are your thoughts on the latest rumors?
EDIT: Whitecaps just officially announce the completed transfer of Deybi Flores from CD Motagua.