Since Leeds United is allegedly interested in Orlando City’s Cyle Larin, we thought it would be a good idea to speak with the people who know him best, our friends at SB Nation’s Orlando City blog, The Mane Land. Many thanks to Gavin Ewbank of The Mane Land for taking the time to answer my questions about the Canada international striker who may or may not be on the move during the January transfer window.
Grain of salt: Leeds United attempting to land £2m Cyle Larin January transfer https://t.co/1VqQ1LczmB— Canucks Abroad (@Canucks_Abroad) September 10, 2017
How likely is it that Cyle Larin leaves for Europe in January? Some of the rumour mill sites in the UK make it sound like he's for sure bolting for Europe, but is that a realistic possibility?
It's tough to say at this point whether or not Larin will definitely be moving in January, but it's certainly on the table. The way MLS transfers work, the club doesn't bring in the most possible money from a sale until he's been in the league for three seasons, meaning Orlando would be able to pocket 2/3 of a fee after this season, so many people expect Orlando to be much more willing to sell starting this January if they get an offer they can't refuse.
Has Larin's legal troubles created any desire for Orlando City's management to see him leave, or is it water under the bridge at this point?
I don't think so. I think club saw it as a young man making a stupid decision, and as far as I know, there hasn't been any talk around the club about it since he returned from suspension. I think it's behind everybody at this point.
Can Larin make the jump to the Championship? The record of MLS players to making the leap to England isn't necessarily the greatest, but enough have made it work to make it a logical next step for a player.
I think Larin has the talent to succeed in Europe, and the Championship would be an interesting first step outside of MLS. All of the talk about his impending transfer from Orlando typically centers around "when he's ready," and if he feels ready that he can compete at that level and score goals, then I think he can settle in if he's in the right situation.
What kind of player is Larin? And at 22 years old, what does he still need to learn to take the next step?
Larin has come a long way since Orlando drafted him out of college in 2015, but he still has a little ways to go to becoming a polished striker, especially in a elevated league like the Championship. He's best used as a target striker, a guy that can use his body to hold of defenders and muscle his way to balls in the air. He's not great with the ball at his feet if you ask him to run at defenders head on, though.
On a scale of 1 to 5, how upset would you be if Larin left? And if he does leave, where does Orlando go from there?
I'd put it at a 2, to be honest. He's been a great player for Orlando over the last three seasons, and at this point everybody expects him to move on at some point and have come to terms with it. To make up for his loss, Orlando City has already acquired Dom Dwyer this summer form Sporting KC, one of the league's top scorers over the last four seasons, with the idea in mind that he could cover the loss of Larin, should he be sold this coming January or next summer.