The Vancouver Whitecaps signing spree continued this week with the acquisition of Uruguayan striker Joaquín Ardaiz. He is the ideal young attacker for Marc dos Santos to execute his offensive rebuild.
As the 2019 offseason continues to take shape, the Vancouver Whitecaps have continued to add to the storyline. Their most recent signing, 20-year-old Uruguayan striker Joaquín Ardaiz, will bring them much-needed offensive depth as they continue to transform their roster.
The player the Whitecaps have added is Ardaiz will join the Canadian club on a season-long loan with the option to purchase at the end of the year.
After seeing a few stars leave the roster at the end of the 2018 season, Ardaiz will be entering into a squad that could yield him the playing time he failed to get in Serie A. His last loan spell was with Frosinone in Italy and it did not go very well, making just one appearance. At this crucial stage in his career in which minutes are invaluable, that is a real issue.
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His parent club is currently FC Chiasso in Switzerland. Ardaiz was just signed by the Swiss club in August of 2018, though was loaned out almost immediately. Although he has not made an appearance for Uruguay’s senior national team yet, Ardaiz was able to help win the U-20 South American title in 2017, in which he scored two goals. Additionally, the young striker saw playing time at the 2017 U-20 World Cup.
Starting off as a promising player in Uruguay, Ardaiz moved to Europe in the 2017-18 season to play for Royal Antwerp in the Belgian Juliper Pro League. He would go on to make 23 appearances in all competition for the Belgian side with five goals and three assists. Since then, however, he has not been able to find his mark this season and the Whitecaps offer a chance to display his goal-scoring ability.
Ardaiz will no doubt be in search of minutes with the Whitecaps. He has failed to get consistent playing time in his career and the move to Major League Soccer might be his ticket to getting more exposure. Certainly, it is a level that he should be expected to compete at and the Whitecaps do have a striker shortage. There is a clear path to regular starts.
For the Whitecaps, they get a player who will be hungry to get playing time and add depth to the attacking role. Marking Ardaiz as a Young Designated Player shows the club’s belief that he can be something special for them and help aid in the loss of Kei Kamara and Alphonoso Davies.
He could be one for the future, that much is certain. Vancouver are in the midst of a rebuild under Marc dos Santos. Ardaiz could yet become a key offensive piece.