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Toronto FC signs former PSG defender Van der Wiel

11:34 AM EST 2/1/18
Gregory van der Wiel Fenerbahce
The Reds have completed a move for the Dutch international right back, who will replace Steven Beitashour in the defending MLS Cup champions' backline

Toronto FC on Thursday announced the signing of Gregory van der Wiel on a transfer from Italian club Cagliari, using targeted allocation money to add the Dutch defender.

Van der Wiel joined Cagliari last summer from Turkish side Fenerbahce, but made just five Serie A appearances before completing the move to Major League Soccer. The 29-year-old has also played for Ajax and Paris Saint-Germain during his 10-year career.

On the international level, Van der Wiel has 46 caps for the Netherlands and was a starter for the 2010 World Cup runner-up. He was also called up for the 2012 Euros.

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

Toronto FC is coming off a historic season in which the club finished with an MLS-record 69 points during the regular season and lifted its first MLS Cup. TFC believes the addition of Van der Wiel will help "improve" the team as they look to reach the final for the third straight season in 2018.

“Gregory has a great defensive sense and will provide an upside on the ball with his strong distribution when in the attacking third," Bezbatchenko said. 

"He will be a welcome addition to our club as we continue to strive to improve as a team.”

Van der Wiel will likely play on the right side of the Reds' backline as a replacement for Steven Beitashour, who left the team to sign with LAFC.