Last week, Orlando City was linked with an “elite” European defender and according to the Orlando Sentinel, we now know who that is. Alicia DelGallo reports that the Lions are close to signing French center back Grégory Sertic -- currently with FC Girondins de Bordeaux in Ligue 1.
Sertic spent most of his career in Bordeaux, where he won Ligue 1 in 2008-2009, Coupe de la Ligue and the Tropheé des Champions in 2009, and Coupe de France in 2012-2013. He was loaned out to French side RC Lens between 2010 and 2011.
At 6-foot, Sertic is a versatile player, who can switch between center back and defensive midfielder. This season, he was used in 14 matches in Ligue 1, playing six at center back, four at defensive midfielder and three in central midfield, according to Whoscored.com. He is known as a good passer and an efficient free kick taker and long shooter. They also offer this scouting report:
In 2013-2014, he scored this amazing goal against Nice:
Sertic, 27, is of Croatian descent, and holds passports for both countries. He played for the French U-21 team in 2009, when he saw the field in five matches during the Toulon Tournament.
According to the Sentinel report, Sertic turned down offers from European and Chinese teams to sign with Orlando City. He met with Jason Kreis when the Lions head coach traveled to Europe to scout players and, apparently, liked what he heard.
If the deal is completed, Sertic will be a nice option for Orlando City’s problematic back line. The club recently resigned Uruguayan José Aja to a four-year contract and also counts on youngster Tommy Redding and Spanish David Mateos to defend better in 2017. In addition, the club still has Generation Adidas center back Conor Donovan.