Toronto FC officially signed Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ager Aketxe on a transfer following negotiations that began last week.
He was signed with Targeted Allocation Monday and will be added to the roster upon receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and Canadian work permit. Athletic terminated Aketxe’s contract by mutual consent last week to clear the way for his move to MLS.
Aketxe, 24, made his first-team debut for Athletic Bilbao in 2013, and the Bilbao native has 14 appearances with the La Liga club, scoring one goal. He spent half of last season on loan to second-division Cadiz, scoring five goals in 18 matches before returning to make 14 appearances for the Basques-only Athletic club. As part of Athletic’s system, he has also spent time at feeder club Basconia and B-team Bilbao Athletic.
Toronto picked up Victor Vazquez from Spain last year, and the club has looked to the country again to add Aketxe. He will likely replace Benoit Cheyrou, who retired after last season. TFC also has U.S. international Michael Bradley.
“Ager is a talented midfielder, that developed at an historic club, in one of the top leagues in the world,” TFC senior VP and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in a club release. “Ager has both the ability to create as well as finish. He possesses a tremendous work rate along with a great attitude. We are very excited to bring him to Toronto FC and have no doubt he will be a welcomed addition to our club.”
The Reds will play host to the Colorado Rapids in the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League series game on Tuesday. TFC carries a 2-0 aggregate advantage into the home match at BMO Field.
—Field Level Media