Canadian Premier League MVP Tristan Borges Sold In Landmark Deal
Canadian Premier League star midfielder Tristan Borges has been sold to Belgian side Oud-Heverlee Leuven in a landmark deal estimated to be worth between $300,000 to $500,000, subject to conditions.
The 21-year-old Forge FC midfielder made waves as a top performer in the Canadian Premier League’s inaugural season, finishing his title-winning campaign as the league’s golden boot winner before also taking home the awards for the Best U-21 Canadian Player and the league MVP honours, too.
Having spent his youth career with the likes of Toronto FC Academy and Dutch side SC Heerenveen – where he played alongside the likes of Real Madrid’s Martin Odegaard – his 2019 season with Forge FC was ultimately the first time he was able to show his worth on the pitch as a starter in a professional environment.
Finishing the campaign with thirteen goals and five assists after 27 league appearances (and scoring against every other CPL club along the way), the tricky midfielder impressed on a consistent basis as he helped Forge FC become the first club to hoist the North Star Shield. His goal in the first leg of the CPL Finals was a game-changer for the second leg, ensuring he finished the season on a high.
His impressive league form – which also included a chance to shine in both the Canadian Championship and the CONCACAF League – eventually led to a call-up with the Canadian national team, with Borges recently making his debut against Barbados.
Borges becomes the second Canadian Premier League export to make waves in just as many weeks, with versatile Cavalry FC defender Joel Waterman recently signing on with Major League Soccer side Montreal Impact.
The CPL is an opportunity for players to showcase their skills in front of passionate supporters, fans and other clubs and has provided Tristan with an opportunity to showcase his talent globally. We are excited about how this transfer showcases our commitment to players from coast to coast.David Clanachan
More high-profile CPL exports may follow in the near future, with FC Edmonton’s Amer Didic currently on trial with the Vancouver Whitecaps, who are openly eyeing a handful of CPL players. New Halifax Wanderer’s signing Aboubacar Sissoko has also found himself on trial with the west coast MLS side.
It’ll be interesting to see how Borges fares at Oud-Heverlee Leuven. The club is currently making a push for promotion into the top flight after having dropped down to the second division a few years ago. Whether Borges can help the club finally push itself back across the finish line remains to be seen, but it’ll sure be interesting to watch.
While it is not ultimately clear how much money Forge FC will make from the transfer, it appears the incoming funds could potentially cover half of the club’s 2020 season salary budget alone, subject to conditions.
Borges’ new side is backed by Power International Group, which also owns one-time Premier League winners Leicester City. Overall, the Belgian side certainly has the backing to make a push for the top flight by signing players like the Canadian top flight’s most valuable player.
Much like when Emery Welshman left in the middle of the inaugural season, Bobby Smyrniotis now finds himself with big shoes to fill. He’s been on the prowl for new attacking players, and with several high-profile free agents like Marco Bustos and Ryan Telfer available, there could be some hot topic intra-league transfers on the horizon.
The terms of Tristan’s contract with Oud-Heverlee Leuven have not been publicly disclosed.
Source: Richmond News