Cagliari, Gregory van der Wiel, Italian Serie A, Leagues, Major League Soccer, Story, Toronto FC, Transfers

Gregory van der Wiel has not played much since leaving PSG in 2016.

Toronto FC completed the signing of Netherlands defender Gregory van der Wiel from Serie A side Cagliari on Thursday.

The MLS champions used targeted allocation money to acquire Van der Wiel, who turns 30 on Saturday.

Toronto was in need of a new right-back after Steven Beitashour completed his move to expansion club LAFC as a free agent last week.

“We are excited to bring Gregory van der Wiel to Toronto FC,” general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said. “He is an experienced player that has played with some big clubs in Europe and has represented his country at multiple international tournaments.

“Gregory has a great defensive sense and will provide an upside on the ball with his strong distribution when in the attacking third. He will be a welcomed addition to our club as we continue to strive to improve as a team.”

Van der Wiel previously starred at Ajax and Paris Saint-Germain, but he has struggled to find consistent playing time since moving to Fenerbahce in the summer of 2016.

He only made 17 appearances in all competitions in one season at the Turkish club, and since moving to Cagliari last August, he has played in six total games for the Serie A club.

Van der Wiel has made 46 appearances for Netherlands and started in the defeat to Spain in the 2010 World Cup final.

When he debuts for Toronto, he will be the 13th player in MLS history to have played in a World Cup final and the third active MLS player, alongside New York City FC’s David Villa — who was on that Spain team in 2010 — and Chicago’s Bastian Schweinsteiger.

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