Exclusive: Vancouver Close In On Bakare Signing
Vancouver FC looks set to add a sixth international to its inaugural roster with English centre-back Ibrahim Bakare.
The 20-year-old had jumped from League Two side Morecambe to the Cardiff City U-23 team last year before bouncing around the English lower leagues over the last few months.
A move to Vancouver FC would provide some much-needed stability for the right-footed centre-back: after being moved out of the Cardiff youth system last fall, he had a two-month spell at National League North side Kettering Town FC before going to non-league pastures with Macclesfield FC in December, where he scored on his debut before moving on to Cheshunt FC in January.
“Ibrahim needs to settle at a club,” Cardiff U-23 head coach Steve Morison had said a few moves ago. “He was at Morecambe and lockdown happened. He had a successful loan move at Lancaster Town too. I want to see him grow. He’s a big, strong lad. He came in, he was really confident and showed great leadership qualities.”
Bakare had impressed at Cardiff whilst on trial, suggesting that there may be a high ceiling for the youngster given the right circumstances – and we believe Vancouver FC will ultimately be confirmed as that next step. A similar move certainly worked out for CPL MVP Ollie Bassett, who was playing non-league football before returning to the pro game with Pacific and making a splash.
A source close to the club indicates that move for Bakare took place after negotiations broke down with former Pacific and Cavalry defender David Norman Jr, who had been high on the team’s list of targeted centre-backs.
Afshin Ghotbi has brought in a string of internationals headlined by Liga MX veteran Gael Sandoval, who was paraded as a high-profile signing by Tepatitlan FC before he controversially left for Vancouver FC instead. The team also brought in English-Ghanaian winger Nicky Gyimah this week, with South Korean attacker Min-jae Kwak also arriving.
See Also: How Vancouver FC’s Roster Build Is Taking Shape
If Bakare lands with Vancouver as we suspect he will, he’ll be the club’s sixth international signing – and the club’s twentieth on the roster. That would leave room for just three more signings, just one of whom could be international.
The club’s inaugural campaign will kick off on April 15 with an away trip to neighbouring side Pacific FC.