The list of Canadians to have graced the Premier League extends just long enough to complete a starting XI. There are some established names in there – Craig Forrest, Junior Hoilett, Tomasz Radzinski et al – along with a few that may have sailed under the radar on both sides of the Atlantic.
As soccer in North America continues to enjoy something of a resurgence, with the countdown on to World Cup 2022 and a finals in 2026 that will see hosting duties shared between the United States, Canada and Mexico, the hope is that more wings will be spread in the years to come.
There is every chance that current CanMNT star Richie Laryea will be the next to start rubbing shoulders with the elite in England. The flying full-back is currently on the books of Championship promotion hopefuls Nottingham Forest – a side well positioned to make a play for the riches on offer to those in the Premier League.
One for the books! ???????????? pic.twitter.com/OCQ81FHvX7
— Richmond Laryea (@RichieLaryea_) March 29, 2022
Forest can be backed at odds of +175 in the sports betting markets to make their way out of the second tier and into the top flight before the season comes to a close in May. They are the favorites out of the teams fighting for the play-off spots, with Huddersfield Town the closest rivals at +340. However, you mya see these listed differently depending on where you look as you can easily encounter decimal, fractional and US odds, although they are easy to convert.
Progress in Nottingham has been impressive, with a sleeping giant that has sat outside of the Premier League for 23 years finally showing signs of waking from the deepest of slumbers. Steve Cooper has been the man to deliver a reversal in fortune after stepping into a dugout once occupied by the legendary Brian Clough.
He has pieced together a settled side that have established momentum through continuity and consistency. While said qualities have aided a collective cause, they have worked against Laryea somewhat.
Patience has been the order of the day for the Ontario native since signing for the club in the January transfer window. Laryea has seen more minutes for his country in 2022 – while helping to book tickets to a first World Cup in 36 years – than at club level. That is because the considerable presence of Djed Spence – a man being linked with the likes of Arsenal and Bayern Munich – has been blocking his path in the right wing-back berth that Forest have him penciled in to fill.
A long-awaited debut was, however, made in a 4-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion on April 18, with the promise there for much more to come.
— Nottingham Forest FC (@NFFC) April 19, 2022
Potential remains a buzzword for Laryea, with there plenty to be unlocked in his game as an individual, while he may yet step up into the Premier League with Forest and join an elite group of fellow countrymen to have trodden such a path.
There is also a trip to Qatar to start planning for in November, with the 2022-23 campaign shaping up to be a particularly memorable one on domestic and international fronts. For now, life for Laryea is littered with ifs, buts and maybes, but that is a situation to be embraced as definitive answers to the questions hanging over his head begin to be delivered.