Report: Minnesota United in Talks to Sign Danish Attacker Bashkim Kadrii

by on 25 January 2017

For weeks, Loons head coach Adrian Heath has hinted at a “huge” signing and it seems we may now know that signing’s identity. Danish media outlet TV3 reports that forward Bashkim Kadrii looks to be making a surprise move to Minnesota.

Kadrii currently suits up for FC Copenhagen, though he has seen limited time over the last few years for the club. His last goal for the club came in May 2016. His best run of form was with Odense Boldklub, where he scored 19 goals from 2009 to 2014 before his big move to Copenhagen. Updated: Longtime friend of FiftyFive.One and our unofficial Danish correspondent, Henrik Lønne, brought this story to our attention. He adds that Kadrii has a “very high ceiling but has been injury plagued,” accounting for Kadrii’s limited time with Copenhagen.

The Danish reports indicate that this would be a loan move for Kadrii, but the contract will include an option to buy. Additionally, Kadrii’s contract runs out in 2018 and so it may be easy to sign him on a free should his stint in Minnesota go well.

The Danish youth international would likely feature for Minnesota on the left wing or as a withdrawn forward. This would mean that Kadrii would either be pushing Miguel Ibarra for time on the left or Ibarra could shift to the right wing, where he has played at times for United. Or Kadrii could play in the hole behind the striker, pushing Johan Venegas. Certainly, there will be a number of options for Heath’s Loons side.

Remarkably, Kadrii is the third of what looks to be four Scandinavian players picked up from Manny Lagos’ fall scouting trip through the region (goalkeeper John Alvbåge also looks to be on his way).

You can check out Kadrii’s highlight package here:

FC Copenhagen made a 30 minute feature on Bashkim’s recovery from injury that has English subtitles. Or, if it’s anything like the Danish thriller Forbrydelsen, you can wait for AMC to remake it in the English language like they did with The Killing.

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  • John Herman

    I’m whelmed. We can cross Danish off the Scandinavians playing in MN bingo card, he’s a youth international who appears to finish well and likes combining with teammates in attack, and it’s a loan so it’s cheap and he’s got a lot to play for.

    I’ll assume that Heath has a lineup plan with what he has, but whatever it is, it isn’t an ideal fit.

    • Wes

      Here’s my takeaway: very low risk, since it’s a loan (big salary cap hit, sure, but requires no TAM/GAM). Also, I just updated this story after speaking to a Dane friend and he rated Kadrii very highly. I don’t expect Kadrii to be Lodiero, but could be a very good part of the attack.

      • John Herman

        Oh that’s a helpful update, especially when we otherwise have so little to go on right off the bat. Attacking-minded player + very high ceiling + Heath = very encouraging. The loan arrangement is a huge roster assembly plus for sure–we can still sign a TAM-level player that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to get.

        I’m knocking on some wooden things, but between Danladi, Demidov, and now Kadrii, we have invested in some guys who have missed major time to injuries. That’s great if it pans out but…

        Finally, I’m wondering how Heath will deploy his front four. Could be cool to see a total football lite situation where guys rotate around a bit in-game. Turn the positional uncertainties from a liability into a strength, that sort of thing. Or at the very least, looks like the right wing will be cutting in a lot. Hope K-Ven has his overlapping boots on.

  • Chris RB

    According to the linked article, he’s a left winger who can be a second striker and sometimes a left back.

    Versatility, but I’m assuming that means he starts on the left and Ibarra on the right? Interested to see how that works out.

    I like this signing, if it comes to fruition. I’d like it more if he was a natural right winger 🙂

  • Alex Schieferdecker

    Huge. Now we’ve got the Baltic covered, we just need the North Atlantic now. An Icelander and a Faroese Islander are the only Nordics remaining.

    • MmattN

      Come On You Scandiloonians!

    • Alex Schieferdecker

      Interestingly, every single one of our Nordic players is from a different ethnicity than than the nation they represent. Saeid’s parents are from Eritrea. Demidov’s parents are from Russia. Schüller is a Swedish Finn, and Kadrii is of Albanian descent.

  • Kevin Hill

    Ok all ferret jokes aside, what will we possibly do at GK? MLS issued rosters yesterday and MNUFC has used 7/8 international spots. This signing would mean 8 which means our pursuit of that GK is over. Would rather have GK.

    • Kyle Eliason

      Hopefully green cards are in the works for one or two currently occupying international spots? Speculating, but a possibility.

      • Kevin Hill

        He looks promising though, so no real complaints.

        I am speculating as well, but I have to assume a green card for someone like Ibson or Añor is a long shot. Worked in immigration for several years and the category athletes use for green card is not always a sure thing. Usually they have to build a pretty good reputation domestically. Has Ibson done that? Maybe marriage happened or Danladi ends up as a domestic? No clue.

        All faith in the front office to do what best!

        • Benjamin MacKenzie

          I’m going to drown my sorrow for Sammy in jelly sandwiches

        • Really?!?!?

          Excellent points and some understanding of aspects that the players / team have to deal with. The teams also have their contacts that I’m sure they try to use to help push some of these applications through. If you look at MLS rosters, you can see that there are many that have used this process and are not stars or anything.

          Añor and/or Ibson (or even Danladi / Njock) hopefully had forethought to start this process a year or two ago….they should have / could have. And like you said, certain achievements or statuses can help, so Ibson’s career overall could help, Ndjock having caps for Cameroon’s NT, Añor being in the US for so long, Danladi’s draft status as #1 now, etc. But so could Minnesota having some ability/contacts to help nudge the process along. One can only hope….

      • sehanson14147

        It was rumored that Ibson is in the works of trying to get a green card.

        • Really?!?!?

          Good. Hopefully.

  • John Herman

    Okay he has massive thighs, I’m all in now.

  • Almontanello

    Every time I read about new players, I write that we need a reliable GK.

    Looking forward to read the good news related to an experienced GK. for MNUFC

    • Alex Schieferdecker

      Loons have been heavily rumored to be bringing in Swedish GK John Alvbåge on loan. He’s exactly what you’re describing.

  • Really?!?!?

    Still doesn’t seem like a star-level player that MLS teams really need to distinguish themselves in a parity-driven league. However, possibly a good squad player, more solid depth, and a starter if healthy. Low risk, and possibly a great value, so likely can be successful in MLS and a building block, but I need to see something more from the Loons in regards to a quality, high-level attacker to think that they can be successful this year.

    • Wes

      I mean, he was considered a high ceiling, exciting player for the best club in Denmark that played in the champions league. That doesn’t really scream squad player in MLS to me.

      • John Herman

        Yeah. Watching his video, seems like he was just blossoming when he had his first injury. He’s been back over a year now, which if I understand right is about how long it takes to get back to full strength after a major injury like that. The injury seems like the real variable here. If he’s really back, he’ll be a top-tier player in the league. If his knee remains an issue, he’s done playing. Good business by the Loons to get him on loan with an option to buy.

        After watching his highlights and part of the video, I’m really rooting for him. Dude has like 15 more pounds of muscle than others his size and seems like a great fit in Heath’s system. I just won’t like fretting about his knee every game.