The Laurent Ciman deal sent shockwaves across the Montreal Impact fan base. At first, I was disappointed that a player of Laurent Ciman’s caliber didn’t fetch a great instant return. By no means, Jukka Raitala and Raheem Edwards will help the Impact now and even more in the future, but when we lose our best defender, we’d expect a substantial return. Nonetheless, Raheem Edwards and Jukka Raitala bring plenty of assets to the team
Jukka Raitala has bounced around the globe, playing in Finland, Germany, Spain, Holland, Denmark, and Norway before signing a contract with the Columbus Crew. Although Raitala mainly operates as a left-back, the Finnish international brings versatility to the lineup as he can also function as a reliable centre-back and right-back. In Raitala’s 28 appearances with the Crew, he registered an assist while averaging about a tackle a game. Jukka Raitala is dependable defensively, he generally crosses and plays long balls. It was important for Remi Garde to obtain an experienced full-back in the top flight because there was a considerable void on the left-back position when Ambroise Oyongo opted to find a greater challenge in Europe’s top flight. Raitala is expected to be Montreal’s starting left-back in the absence of Oyongo.
At the tender age of 22, Raheem Edwards is Montreal’s prized possession. A promising career is certainly on the horizon. The Canadian international can play just about anywhere on the pitch, during his stint with Toronto FC, he was mainly deployed as a defensive midfielder. However, he was tried as a left-back, left-midfielder, centre-forward, and a right-back. Edwards is a dynamic player who is excellent at dribbling and playing short passes alike. His offensive play has earned him rave reviews as he amassed a goal and 4 assists in 22 games for Toronto. Remi Garde’s new toy was his latest addition to his collection of high end attacking talent he inherited. Raheem Edwards is joined by fellow young talents, Ballou Tabla and Anthony Jackson-Hamel as well as seasoned veterans like Blerim Dzemaili and Ignacio Piatti.
Even if you’re not a fan of Remi Garde’s shakeup, you cannot overlook what Raheem Edwards and Jukka Raitala bring to the table. Hopefully, Remi Garde can put his new players to good use when the season rolls around next March.
This is only the first of many moves that Remi Garde will make to strengthen his team.