Toronto FC lock up Victor Vazquez with multi-year deal

TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 29: Victor Vazquez
TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 29: Victor Vazquez /

Toronto FC have continued to secure their dominant squad from last season, signing midfielder Victor Vazquez to a multi-year extension.

Toronto FC have signed Victor Vazquez to a multi-year contract. Several sources have indicated the Spaniard made around $700,000 last season, which was the fourth-highest behind Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley.

It will be a bit of time before the monetary value of the deal is released, but somewhere near the $1 million mark sounds about right.

The Barcelona B product made quite the splash last season after arriving from Cruz Azul. His eight goals and 16 assists in MLS made him the go-to attacking midfielder for Greg Vanney. Vazquez added two goals and four assists in other competitions last year.

It hasn’t been the same story this season for the 31-year-old so far. Currently on the bench due to an injury before the second leg of the Tigres clash, this has impacted his stats.

Despite being a critical mainstay in the middle of the park during the Champions League, his one contest against the Columbus Crew in domestic play was dreadful. For a player who was second in MLS assists last season to garner a 74 percent pass accuracy number, is a bit worrying.

However, just as with the rest of the squad, judgement will have to wait until more fixtures occur. It’s hard to gather a full assessment in two games, especially since Vazquez has only featured in one of them.

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Toronto are banking on the hope Vazquez replicates his performance from last season. It’s a huge gamble that general manager Tim Bezbatchenko has decided to take on virtually the whole squad.

The obvious problem is that nobody, including the Reds, knows what’s going to happen next. Vazquez can dip at any point of his playing career, especially given his age.

Another cautionary point before being completely on-board with the signing is the reliability of Vazquez during last season. His league-leading 16 assists could have been more, but Vazquez started to dip heavily towards the end of the 2017 campaign.

The Barcelona native had no assists in October, and was doing very little in the department in June and July. Even though it isn’t completely up to Vazquez to score goal, he didn’t find the back of the net for three months of the year in 2017.

History usually can’t tell the whole story, but for the money Toronto FC could have potentially spent on a player that’s aging, supporters should be granted reliable numbers from Vazquez. Failure to reach the numbers he did last season should be considered an overpay on TFC’s part.

On the other hand, the biggest benefit from the Vazquez deal is the number of options Vanney has in the midfield at the moment.

Jonathan Osorio has been huge recently and even Marco Delgado raised some eyebrows, especially in last year’s playoffs. Plus, the Reds cannot forget the services of Ager Aketxe, who comes from a La Liga background in Athletic Bilbao and is young with potential.

The depth is there in the middle of the park. Now, it’s all up to Vanney to use it to its full potential, which hasn’t been one of the manager’s strong points so far this season.

Vanney himself gave praise to Vazquez last season, when he said to Sportsnet“He has an ability to play at a high speed and with ideas that are faster than anyone else.”

The signing comes with its benefits and disadvantages, which includes a lot of pressure on TFC and Vazquez to get it done this season. However, as we’ve seen so many times before, the Reds have a tendency to surprise us in the end.

Stay tuned.

Next: Not time to panic about the defending champions, yet

What’s your take on the news regarding Vazquez? What kind of success are you predicting for him with Toronto FC this season? Share your thoughts in the comments below