According to Turkish journalist Sercan Dikme and as reported by Fotospor, 2016-17 Super Lig champions Besiktas (as well as current UEFA Champions League Round of 16 finalists) have signed Canadian international Cyle Larin from Orlando City SC.
Larin was the first pick of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft and duly set about winning the MLS Rookie of the Year award after scoring 17 goals in 27 matches for the expansion club. The Canadian striker has been a consistent threat for the Lions despite the club’s turbulent three-year MLS existence.
Larin has led Orlando in scoring each season, scoring 14 goals in 2016 (the season in which he was elected to the MLS All-Star game) and 12 this past year. The 22-year-old has also scored five goals in 23 international appearances for Canada.
Besiktas currently sits a disappointing fourth in the Turkish Super Lig, but they managed to finish top in UEFA Champions League Group G, above Porto, RB Leipzig and Monaco. However, their reward for winning the group was a draw against German giants Bayern Munich in the Round of 16.
If the rumors of the transfer are true, Larin will compete with Spanish striker Alvaro Negredo and Turkish international Cenk Tosun for minutes (it’s also rumored that Demba Ba will join the club from Shanghai Shenhua this winter).
Larin will almost certainly be helped in his adjustment at Besiktas by fellow Canadian Atiba Hutchinson, who’s been at the club since 2013.