On Monday morning the Portland Timbers announced the signing of Brazilian midfielder Evander for a club-record fee. Some initial reports suggest the total financial outlay for the playmaker could break $10 million. While that is a significant chunk of change for a Major League Soccer club, Timbers head coach Gio Savarese has not been shy in hyping up the former Midtjylland man. “We are extremely excited to welcome Evander to Portland. He has proven consistently in the Danish Superliga that he has the quality to be a game changer,” Savarese said in the club's announcement.
While the PTFC faithful will not get to see their new man in action for some time with the preseason not set to kick off for another three months, Evander has already spoken to the media ahead of his big move to the Pacific Northwest.
"The expectation from everybody was for me to stay in Europe, but it’s not something that takes me down to go to MLS, it’s going to make me grow," said the 24-year-old in quotes relayed by MLS's Tom Bogert. Evander continued by saying, "I have ambitions and dreams still, I think I can realize them in MLS."
Evander joins the Timbers with high expectations after a superb run of form in Denmark, scoring 50 goals and registering 38 assists in 167 appearances across all competitions for Midtjylland. At just 24-years-old, not only can the playmaker impact the team from the off, but he could be another in a long line of potential big-money sales from Major League Soccer - should his career continue on its current trajectory.
Time will tell if the club is keen to continue splashing the cash this offseason in an effort to reclaim their spot as one of the elite clubs in Major League Soccer. With the recent reports from The Oregonian's Ryan Clarke that Jaroslaw Niezgoda's current contract has now slipped below the designated player threshold, PTFC could find themselves with more wiggle room in the transfer market should they be interested in continuing the strengthen the squad.