Multiple sources have told me the unnamed forward from Argentina that Toronto FC are targeting is Maximiliano Urruti of Newell’s Old Boys.
The 22-year-old, who has been linked with many European clubs in the past six months including Palermo, Levante, Valencia and Helsingborgs, was watched closely by the club’s chief scout, Pat Onstad, recently and the club are trying to finalize details with the player’s representatives to bring him to Major League Soccer in the next few weeks.
Urruti, in his second full year at Old Boys, made his club debut during the Clausera season of 2011 and has seen his stock rise ever since thanks to some outstanding goals for La Lepra.
This is an excellent video, showing many of his skills in front of goal, that is sure to get Toronto FC fans excited at the prospect of number 37 applying his trade in the MLS for the Reds.
However, as South American Football expert Tim Vickery, of the BBC, tells me things haven’t gone as smoothly this season for Urruti: “He is an interesting striker who has lost his place in the first team as a result of the successful repatriation of Ignacio Scocco, but remains an interesting prospect – stocky and strong, able to play up front on his own or combine.”
ESPN South American columnist Sam Kelly, who hosts the excellent Hand Of Pod, issued similar sentiments, saying: “Urruti’s decent enough, but at 22 he’s only played about 30-odd first team games for Newell’s so far – which doesn’t seem like many for Argentina – and hasn’t exactly been tearing up trees as far as his scoring record is concerned. Good movement and link play, though, and he could do well playing as a second forward. His main problem has been having Scocco ahead of him at Newell’s so far this season, who’s been one of the best forwards in the league since returning.”
Urutti and Scocco both got on the score sheet for Gerardo Martino’s team in their last match on Friday against Belgrano, a game that saw Newell’s win 2-0 and help the 22-year-old get some much needed positive headlines, as Vickery explains.
He said: “Unfortunately, he has a racism cloud over him at the moment, after recently he was accused of abusing a Paraguayan.”
This took place last month when Olimpia defender Salustiano Candia issued a racist and discrimination complaint against Urruti after a Copa Libertadores match on the 14th of February.
Although the investigation is still pending it is unlikely to prevent him from missing games for Toronto FC if he signs. It appears the club will know by the end of this month if that will happen after Onstad this week returned from South America hopeful he can get his man.
Toronto FC President and General Manager Kevin Payne, who last week confirmed the club were looking at a young Argentine forward, declined to comment on Tuesday when asked about the club’s pursuit of Urruti.