Ryan Gauld could be on his way to the MLS as reported by the Daily Record, with Vancouver Whitecaps looking to offer a muti-million dollar contract. The Scottish attacking midfielder starred in the Portuguese top flight last season with Farense. He managed nine goals and seven assists in 2020/21 and is looking for a new club after his contract expired with Faro based side who were relegated to the Portuguese second tier.
Interest in ‘Mini-Messi’ appears high, and questions have been raised about this move if he is still keen on returning to the Scottish national team after being overlooked for the Euro’s by Steve Clarke. Vancouver Whitecaps have been struggling in recent seasons, and creating opportunities for their striker Lucas Cavelini has been a recurring problem. A player like Gauld could be what they need to start competing for a playoff place. The quality of the MLS is also continually improving and, with interest from Celtic, it is hard to say a move back to the Scottish Premier League would be better than a move to the MLS.
Complications over his contract with Farense, who tried to invoke a clause to extend his contract until 2022, though Gauld states that the clause is invalid as Farense were relegated as reported by Barry Anderson of The Scotsman.
Gauld’s ability to find space as well as create it for himself, are what made him stand out last season as he really hit his top form which had earned him a move to Sporting Lisbon from Dundee United back in 2014. The 25-year-old has struggled since, and a number of loans finally ended with a permanent signing at Farense in 2019. Last season saw him play with freedom off of wide areas, being able to drift inside to find pockets of space as well as target 1v1 opportunities on the wings against full backs.
Vancouver are in need of a player who can operate off of the left wing, with Russell Teibert being the regular player being used, after appearing as a defensive midfielder for some time previously. Gauld would be more adept to the left wing role and would provide some much needed creativity in attack for Vancouver who sit bottom of the Western Conference with just 12 goals in 12 games so far.
Defensively they have conceded 22 in 12, and there are a number of areas to improve in the side, but a signing like Gauld could rally a hard working side and start a strong rebuild in order to progress up the MLS table.