Spanish playmaker Alejandro Pozuelo hit all the right notes Monday in his formal introduction as a Toronto FC player.
The 27-year-old, sticking to English wherever possible, said he wants to be here, doesn’t care to rehash the difficulties in extricating himself from KRC Genk in Belgium and can’t wait to play.
That will likely happen Friday when Toronto (2-0-0) hosts New York City FC (0-0-3).
The Spaniard said he had heard very “amazing things” about TFC and Toronto.
“I think this is the important thing for me and my family also. This is why I’m here,” he said.
Pozuelo landed in Toronto on Friday, taking in a Raptors game Sunday courtside with TFC GM Ali Curtis.
“I’m happy he’s here because I know he belongs here,” said Curtis. “And this is going to be great for him and his family.
“And professionally, (I’m) very excited as well. We know the quality that he has and we’re excited for him to be part of the team.”
The attacking midfielder trained with his new teammates Monday morning before appearing at a BMO Field news conference.
The MLS side hopes that the Spaniard can help fill the void on offence left by the departures of Sebastian Giovinco and Victor Vazquez, who combined for 45 goals and 46 assists over the last two seasons.
Canadian international forward Jonathan David, who plays for KAA Gent, was impressed by what he saw of Pozuelo in Belgium.
“For me, a very good player,” David said in Vancouver prior to Canada’s win Sunday over French Guiana. “Very technical, creative and this guy can score goals, create goals when he wants. I think it’s something very exciting for TFC because he’s going to bring a lot to the team in my opinion.”
Pozuelo will wear No. 10 for Toronto, following the footsteps of Giovinco, Robert Earnshaw, Mista, Alecko Eskandarian, Alen Stevanovic, Ali Gerba and Rohan Ricketts.
A native of Seville, Pozuelo started in the youth ranks at Real Betis, making his senior debut in 2011. In July 2013 he joined Swansea City of the English Premier League, where he had two goals and six assists in 36 appearances. Pozuelo returned to Spain a year later, joining Rayo Vallecano.
In August 2015, he signed with Genk, collecting 25 goals and 60 assists in 175 appearances across all competitions.
The five foot-seven, 140-pounder joins captain Michael Bradley and striker Jozy Altidore as Toronto’s designated players.