Canadian Premier League transfers are picking up heading towards the European transfer window, with Diyaeddine Abzi and Victor Loturi both set to move to European clubs and William Akio rumoured to have a similar announcement on its way. This is showing great growth in the league with their talent, as well as how other leagues around the world view the league. Canadians are getting great opportunities with bigger clubs to be put onto a bigger stage and have bigger eyes on them. So here are five more players that could reasonably make the jump to Europe either this year or in the future.
I’m going to stay away from players who have had long spells in Europe, where a move may not be as surprising, the player must be owned by a CPL club and not on loan to the CPL team.
5. Aribim Pepple (Calvary FC)
Coming back to the CPL after a tryout with Sheffield United in England and getting some time with Getafe U19 team in Spain, Aribim Pepple can make a return to Europe and find a regular spot. The 19-year-old failed to log any minutes while he was in Europe and left Getafe U19 looking for a new team, Calvary FC welcomed Pepple back with open arms. In just five appearances this season, Pepple has logged three goals while adding to the incredible depth of Calvary FC. Coming up through the Canadian pyramid, the English native can find his way over to Europe in no time, but may need to prove himself before stepping into a top-five country.
4. Zachary Fernandez (Halifax Wanderers FC)
Playing in just his first professional season with the Halifax Wanderers, Zachary Fernandez is building a very similar path as Diyaeddine Abzi who is on his way to PAU in France. Like Abzi, Fernandez made his debut in the CPL after playing with Blainville in the PLSQ. Fernandez has stood out among rookies in the early season and has started all but one game for the Wanderers, proving to be an important piece on the wing. The 20-year-old has lots of room to grow and has the potential, in my eyes, to reach the level Abzi. It may take a couple of years, but I don’t feel Fernandez will be in the CPL for long.
3. Osaze De Rosario (York United FC)
Though making his move to Canada to play with York United from Ukraine club Rukh Lviv, Osaze De Rosario could find himself back in Europe in no time. Only making two appearances for the Ukrainian side, the 20-year-old striker qualifies for this list in my eyes. Leaving Ukraine right before the invasion by Russia, De Rosario linked a one-year deal with a club starving for offence. Making an impressive impact in the CPL, the Canadian striker is bound to move on at the end of his deal where Europe is a viable option, and like Pepple, he may need to put the work in before finding himself in a bigger league.
S. 2 Ep. 21: Canada Doing What Canada Does – FC13 Podcast
2. Thomas Meilleur-Giguère (Pacific FC)
Making a Career for himself in the lower divisions in Canada, Thomas Meilleur-Giguère can find himself in Europe if the right stars align. When and if CPL players move to Europe, it doesn’t always mean they will be in the biggest league or team. Meilleur-Giguère carries a lot of experience with him while only being 24 years old. He may not go to the biggest team in the biggest league, but I feel Meilleur-Giguère can make a difference in several European leagues. The pathway to Europe wasn’t always there for him, and that shows how new the Canadian system is. Being one of the better center backs in the CPL I will admit his window to Europe may be closing in on him.
1. Alessandro Hojabrpour (Forge FC)
Alessandro Hojabrpour has had a very impressive young start to his career in the CPL. Winning the CPL title in 2021 along with the U21 player of the year, Hojabrpour found himself moving to CPL giants Forge FC. All of this at just 22 years old, Alessandro could find a clear path to a European squad in no time. Whether that’s in a top country pyramid, only time will tell, but the potential for the youngster is undeniable.
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