Rumour: Nine Stripes To Gamble On Graiciar
York United seems set to be bring in Czech forward Martin Graiciar on a multi-year deal.
The 22-year-old former Czech Republic youth international fits the targeted U-23 age profile for the Canadian Premier League, with multiple overseas outlets – and reportedly his agent – stating that a multi-year agreement has been made.
Graiciar began his career as a highly-touted youth prospect who trained with the likes of Sparta Prague and Arsenal before turning professional with Slovan Liberec in 2017, making nineteen appearances and scoring four goals. Italian Serie A side Fiorentina acquired him in that winter, whilst he was making waves with the Czhech Republic U-19 squad.
He found himself loaned back to Liberec for the 2018 season, though he ultimately only played in two matches for the U-19 squad. The following season saw him loaned to Sparta Prague, where he’d played as a young boy. He made nine appearances to cover for an injury spell before the following season saw Fiorentina loaned him back into the Czech top flight with FK Mlada Boleslav.
With the striker’s career not progressing in a matter suiting Fiorentina, the Italian club opted to terminate his contract this fall. Graiciar is keen to seek out a move abroad to restart his career, and that’s where York United comes in to play: the Nine Stripes have reportedly inked the striker to a two-year deal with a club option for a further twelve months.
“We see it as a very interesting destination,” his agent reportedly told iSport.cz, “Martin has had unsuccessful guest spells at Sparta and Mlada Boleslav. Now there is an opportunity for him to restart his career.”
Rumours of Graiciar’s potential signing sprang up in late November when an astute fan noted that the Czech forward followed both York United and its Club President, Angus McNab, on social media. While social media followings are never definitive proof of any sort, his CPL-specific followings are otherwise out of the blue and lend credence to the rumours.
Stoking the flame a little more is the fact that McNab stated that York United was in the midst of finalizing some new international signings, too.
The 22-year-old is expected to fly into Canada this January, with York United hoping that the 2022 Canadian Premier League season will begin in April. Like many international arrivals, he hopes that placing himself in the North American market can lead to MLS opportunity – though doing so would require, as his agent said, a significant career restart.
Whether the CPL is the right move – and whether his signing will actually get over the finish line – remains to be seen. The club is also expected to see Argentinian duo Lisandro Cabrera and Mateo Hernandez arrive next season, along with Brazilian full-back William Wallace.
York United is expected to release a roster update in the very near future, though this is expected to focus on retained and released players rather than new arrivals.