The Montreal Impact held its club management end-of-season press conference, this Friday morning at Centre Nutrilait alongside technical director Adam Braz, and club president Joey Saputo revealed a key reinforcement ahead of the 2017 season.
Saputo confirmed that Swiss midfielder Blerim Džemaili will be an Impact Designated Player, starting in the summer of 2017. A hard-working player with good distribution skills, Džemaili has played in 14 of Bologna FC’s 15 Serie A games this season, scoring a goal in a 3-1 win over Palermo on November 20.
“I’m not hiding it: Džemaili’s contract is a multi-year deal. He’ll be in Bologna until June 2017, and he will then be transferred to Montreal,” said Saputo. “He’s not hiding that either. He’s ready to come to Montreal.”
“Džemaili’s profile is very interesting for our team,” added Adam Braz. “We see him as a hybrid central midfielder between a no. 8 and a no. 10. He has the physical capacities to play box to box, and one of his main strengths is his ability to make late trailing runs in the box. He’s an international player with a lot of experience playing at the highest level. He’ll bring a lot to this group, not only on the field but also in the locker room with his experience.”
The 30-year-old Džemaili has won 55 caps with the Switzerland national team, including four starts at Euro 2016. He has also played in three of Switzerland’s four 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia qualifiers thus far. His career path has taken him to eight clubs in four countries: Switzerland, England, Italy and Turkey.