Timbers sign Nigerian defender Gbenga Arokoyo

Portland inked the Nigeria international one day after signing veteran English center back Steven Taylor from Newcastle.

The Portland Timbers continued rebuilding their back line on Tuesday, as the club announced the signing of Nigerian center back Gbenga Arokoyo.

Arokoyo, 23, joins from Turkish Super Lig club Gaziantepspor, which he left because of a pay dispute. Last month, the center back told Goal Nigeria he hadn't been paid in six months.

“Gbenga is a young, athletic defender who we believe will be a strong asset to our back line as he continues to develop within our club,” Timbers GM Gavin Wilkinson said in a statement.

Arokoyo joins the Timbers just a day after the club announced the signing of ex-Newcastle center back Steven Taylor. The duo will help Portland compensate for the loss of Nat Borchers, who is out for the season with a ruptured left Achilles tendon.

Internationally, Arokoyo made his senior debut for Nigeria in May during a friendly against Mali. 

To complete the deal, Portland sent targeted allocation money and a conditional 2017 third-round draft pick to NYCFC, which had a discovery claim on Arokoyo.