Could a third Canada international be set to join Atiba Hutchinson and Cyle Larin at Besiktas?
Sources tell TSN’s Matthew Scianitti that Richie Laryea impressed Hutchinson, the Canada and Besiktas captain, during this month’s national camp and World Cup qualifiers to the point that the 38-year-old midfielder left the team prior to its second qualifying match against the Cayman Islands to return to Turkey recommend to the Besiktas board that the Turkish giants swoop in and sign the TFC right-back.
Since meeting with Hutchinson, Scianitti notes Besiktas’s interest in Laryea has grown with the team intending to sign a right-back ahead of next season.
A native of Toronto, the 26-year-old Laryea was the 26-year-old Laryea was the sixth overall selection of the 2016 Major League Soccer SuperDraft out of Akron by Orlando City. After two seasons with the Lions, Laryea signed with his hometown club in 2019 and immediately became a crucial part of the Reds’ setup.
Laryea has made 50 appearances across all competitions for TFC over the past two seasons, scoring six times. He earned an MLS Player of the Week nod last September following a goal and two-assists performance in a 3-1 win over Columbus Crew.
Internationally, Laryea has been capped eight times by the senior side, making his debut in 2019. He scored his first goal for Canada in last week’s 5-1 victory over Bermuda.
A native of Brampton, Ont., Hutchinson has been with Besiktas since 2013 after signing from Eredivisie side PSV, making nearly 300 appearances for the club.
Larin, also from Brampton, signed for the club in 2018 from Orlando City with assistance from Hutchinson. After being loaned out to Belgian side Zulte Waregem last season, Larin returned to Besiktas this year and has notched 14 goals in 28 Super Lig matches, forming a formidable attack with Cameroon international Vincent Aboubakar.
Besiktas currently sits atop the Super Lig table, three points clear of archrivals Galatasaray with a game in hand.
Toronto FC returns to action on Apr. 7 in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16 tie against Leon. The team’s MLS campaign kicks off on Apr. 17 when they visit CF Montreal in Miami.